First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
So, it’s the beginning of 2013, you have always wanted to be an artist, but you have been discouraged from pursuing your artistic interest by most people. But now your creative urge is strong. You feel that something has been missing in your life, and just maybe that may be it. Well, get to it!! Start drawing, painting, sculpting, or whatever artistic medium you feel compelled to do! Yes, it’s overwhelming, and if you think you have to wait till you can go to art school, DON’T WAIT!! Just do it! Otherwise you may never do it. My decision to start painting was one of the best things I ever did.
I had a friend ask me today about how I got started painting, how long it has been, etc. She has had that creative urge, and luckily decided to listen to it. So I thought that would be a good topic to write about and share my experience, since I kept waiting until I realized that if I waited till the “perfect time” it would probably never happen!
First of all, I have always been artistic. I have been drawing since I was a toddler (please don’t let not growing up drawing stop you!). I was intimidated by the idea of painting. I didn’t know anything about materials, how to use them, what I needed, and I let that stop me for many years. I finally decided to sign up for a painting class at our local art museum. It was very helpful! Once I got that out of the way, I decided I could try and teach myself some techniques.
One of my favorite pastimes was (and still is), going to a book store, sitting down with a cup of coffee and a pile of art books and magazines. When I found a favorite, I would buy it so I could try some of the techniques at home.
As I got some paintings done, I was brave enough to hang some in a group show at a cafe I was working at, then at the hair salon I went to, and eventually joined The Creative Arts Society, one of our local art guilds. Some of the artists I have met through that group are now some of my closest friends! By being a member of the group and participating as a chair & member I learned painting techniques, how to frame, how to hang shows, and just talking to people about my art!
The next step I took was going to a week long painting workshop. THAT changed my life!!! I think I was finally ready to take that big jump into taking my artwork seriously.
Some of the most important things I learned are:
-Get lots of art materials, if you just have a few, you will worry about “wasting” what you have. I bought a lot of materials with my weekly 40% off coupon from Michael’s (you can now sign up online to receive the coupon in your email, or if you have a smart phone you can download their app). And don’t be afraid to “waste” materials, you are not wasting, you are learning.
-Give yourself permission to “play”. By playing around with the paints I learned how to work with them. And painting should be fun anyway!
-Draw, even if you don’t think you can. If you can’t come up with things off the top of your head, get beginning drawing books to guide you.
-Join a local art guild if you can, or try to meet other artists. It’s wonderful to be around “like minds” and you learn a lot from each other. If there is not a good art group in your area look online. You can also find other artists on Twitter & Facebook (I have found many of them very encouraging).
-Go to art galleries & museums for inspiration!
-Read The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron. I know many artists that say it has changed their life (including myself). You can find links to my favorite books including this one on the “Favorite Books” page.
I can say that I am definitely not ready to quit my day job to be a full time artist, yet… but I have not given up on it. I am working hard to realize that dream. I have set goals for myself along the way, which has been helpful for me. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions just let me know! You can also find me on Facebook & Twitter, and I am always happy to share what I know!
Above you can see samples of my early paintings. You can find my latest work on my Facebook page and website!