Creativity is very important for both the artist and the artisan. For the sake of this article we will consider them to be the same and simply refer to them as an artist. The biggest discernible difference between an artist and artisan is that the artist creates for the sake of creation alone and there is no functional value to the craft. However, skilled artisans like wood workers, ceramists, glass blowers, and embroiderers who make original, detailed and one of a kind work are not anything less than artists.
So putting this artist versus artisan debate aside, it is a fact that both need creativity and inspiration to succeed. In both cases originality and aesthetics are important. Coming up with fresh ideas for design and their execution is essential to both.
Being original and brandishing a distinct style turns an artist into a brand and that is precisely what sells. So here are a few things to indulge in to boost your creativity.
Of course, art comes in many different forms. But one can safely assume that every form entails some physical work of creation on the part of the artist. Therefore, make it a habit to work on your craft as a routine. Like the famous quote says, and it has been attributed to so many people that I can’t figure out who originally said it. Seems like everyone wants to say it. It goes something like “while amateurs wait for inspiration, the rest of us simply show up every morning and work”.
So, make it a practice to show up and create art.
There is a flip side to this statement as well. Art does not happen in isolation. It needs stimuli and interaction with the world. And so it happens that when you run out of ideas, inspiration and zest to create, it might not do you any good to sit before a blank canvas or paper and wait for inspiration to strike.
I also know this to be true that one needs stimuli. It is a good idea to put your mind to other things and indulge in other activities. Maybe these activities will provide fresh ideas and perspectives, or your mind just needs to let loose for some time for new concepts to surface.
Observe the world
This is what the previous point was talking about.
Most of the time art expresses some thing. It is an emotion, a reflection or a direct depiction of something found in this world. The best of artists have taken inspiration from nature. Humanity, nature, Flora and fauna are evergreen themes for art and craft.
Art doesn’t just express what the artist sees physically but also the emotions behind his/her experiences and the interpretation of the world.
Also, observing the world is not restricted to being physically present in every scenario. There are other mediums of observing the world like books, films, museums, theatre, galleries, works of other great artists et cetera.￼
So be more observant of things around you. Take your time to see more and dwell on matters that interest you. Thinking and formulating is a crucial part of creating.
Create a body of work￼
The one thing that should take the maximum time for any artist is creating art. No matter what kind of work you do, you need a number of items to establish an impactful collection. Whether you are trying to get into an art gallery to have a show, or you want to sell at an art fair, you will need the numbers to not only get in, but also to make a decent amount of money from the sales.
As an artist you need a body of work to make agents and galleries take notice. While means of independent selling exist, such as fairs, exhibitions and online marketplaces, the conventional way of getting into well know galleries remains the best way of attracting attention of agents and collectors. One needs to build a collection to have an exhibit.
We spoke about how observation of the world around is important to the artist for inspiration. Most artists are also interested in a variety of art forms and artists. Adding to their knowledge and exposing themselves to a plethora of Information is important because an artist knows that ideas and information can really come from anywhere. That's why reading books, magazines, following blogs, exploring cinema and theatre are all popular indulgences for artists. As an artist you should remain open to ideas from all sources.
Another important part of being And artist is the drive to learn more about the art they are practicing. The pursuit of learning new techniques and skills can bring wonderful results and also add freshness to subsequent collections. Thats is something that will probably make your agent, the galleries and the collectors all very happy.
Share your art
Encouragement and inspiration are closely related. Receiving honest appraisals and admiration can keep the artist moving in the right direction. The ideal scenario would be if the artist gets the appreciation from his agent, the art galleries and as a response after art lovers through his exhibits.
But there are so many ways to connect with an interested audience now. Social media tops the list. The plus is that you can reach people all over the world, if you know how to go about building an effective social media presence. The content of your posts matters but so does knowing effective practises and how to operate on a particular platform.
The downside is that you may not always get correct feedback. It is easy for people to overwhelm you with their comments and ‘likes’. But this can be taken care of by connecting with other artists whose opinion you covet more.
Some company of fellow artists is great. Look back into history. Even the all time great artists and writers kept company with other fellow artists. Some artists even go to the extent of sharing a common workplace. Of course, many artists prefer to work in solitude. But even they need the exposure and inspiration that interacting with other artist brings.
So find a group or form one comprising of other artists or people with the same bent of mind. This is also a good way to share your work in progress and get some good input from people that know what they are talking about.