Art is in your head.
Dare to change it up.
Take yourself way out of your comfort zone–and be fearless about it. It’s always a little scary to face the blank page or canvas—but there’s something more whimsical–and effective–about doing it differently.
In my artwork, I like to begin drawing or painting in a fresh way every time I start something. Sometimes I aggressively rip up newspaper pages and quickly paste them down as a background so I have something that’s not stark white to play with.
Above, (Pic #1) I tore a furniture ad out of the St. Petersburg (Russia) Times, and flipped it upside down on a black page. Then, with Neocolor crayons I extended lines from the white squares beyond the newspaper edge. The chunks of color on the paper gave me something to spar with.
I’ve mentioned drawing with my left hand –despite being righty– which still makes me chuckle. It feels completely funky—really ridiculous–but oh sooo liberating. The work becomes more childlike and generally looser because my brain is completely detached from my hand’s movement. It’s as if someone else is making the marks.
This kind of change-up can work for countless disciplines—photography, writing, dance, art, and music. If you write—change your scenery, or materials. If you act, dance, or sing—do it another way—the unsafe way. Engage your mind the way you did when you were first learning something. Maybe you were 5—and you were unafraid of the outcome—you just enjoyed “the act of.”
We are used to a familiar way of looking at challenges. According to Psychology Today, experts call this “functional fixedness.” We only see the obvious way of solving our puzzle or attacking our task—the same comfortable way we always think about it. But imagine really looking at something from a different angle—and applying a completely fresh approach to the work. Impressionist photographer Robin Layton does this with every shot–and the results are astonishing. (Pic #2)
So let go–begin to explore new ways of doing things–and experience freedom and excitement in every project. It just takes a willingness to be open and unafraid. The end result–will prove you can break new ground–by breaking old habits.