6 Types of Artistic Self-Knowledge

Painting - "Rooted"Here are just some of the things that you get to know about yourself as an artist as you progress with your work.

1. Your favourite materials. Which type of paint do you want to use? What about mixed media or collage? Do you love a smooth surface or do you respond to a textured surface with your paint? What give your results you like – thick paint, thin paint, large brushes, or unusual painting implements such as palette knives?

2. Your inspirations. Are you inspired by viewing original art – in galleries, books or on line? Are you inspired by techniques – a flow of colour, a calculated brush stroke? Are you inspired by being part of an art group – or does your best inspiration come from quiet alone time. Naturally, I have to mention that many people are inspired to paint by being in an art class since it gives weekly goals and friends to cheer you on.

3. Your favourite subjects – or not. When I was first into painting, I thought I wanted to be a wildlife painter. It didn’t take me too long to figure out that I would not be limited to that subject alone. Animals still show up in my paintings, but at this point I really have not chosen only one subject to be my painting theme. For me, the switching around of subjects is part of my creative process. However, if you do find you have a favourite subject, it will help simplify your art journey.

4. Your best place to paint. Some artists do their best work when painting on location. Others find that the moving breeze and sunshine distract them when they are trying to paint. Do you work best going to the same place, a small studio or simply the same table, to go to?

5. Your working stamina. How long can you paint without getting fatigued and overworking? What type of a break will recharge you – a short brisk walk, a flop on the couch, a cup of coffee?

6. Do you work best with music on, or in silence? If with music, which type?

These are just some of the elements of yourself that you will get to know as an artist. It’s about figuring out what brings out your creative best. What do you think? Which aspects of knowing yourself have most benefited your art?