Updated: Jul 18
The Curious Artist:
Embracing the Positives and Navigating the Negatives: Art and curiosity go hand in hand, forming a profound relationship that has fuelled countless creative journeys throughout history. As a curious artist, you possess an insatiable desire to explore, experiment, and question the world around you. This episode of my blog delves into the positive and negative aspects of being a curious artist, highlighting the transformative power of curiosity while acknowledging the challenges that may arise along the way.
All About the Positives of Curiosity:
Curiosity opens doors to a world of endless inspiration. By exploring diverse subjects, ideas, and perspectives, you expand your artistic horizons. I am a naturally curious person, I like learning new things, exploring different materials and techniques. The insatiable hunger to learn pushes me to embrace new techniques, styles, and mediums, providing a constant stream of fresh ideas to infuse into my artwork. The ‘university of UTube’ is an incredible resource, from which I have learnt so much. Let’s face it, if you want to build a house, wire a plug, get your printer working, or learn how to mix different paints and mediums you can a step-by-step guide there. Which is incredible, especially if you’re new to painting and other art forms.
Once your more established in with your art practise, then curiosity is a driving force behind personal and artistic growth. It encourages you to push beyond your comfort zone, experiment with different approaches, and evolve as an artist. The more you explore and question, the more you discover about yourself and your creative potential, leading to profound self-discovery and improvement. For example:
-What do I like, eg abstract, realism, photography, drawing… -What don’t you like, which is an equally valid question. For example my partner and I have very different artistic tastes. -What am I interested in, eg landscape, hyper-reality, portraits… -What medium do I want to work in, oil, collage, acrylic, printing… -What am I drawn to, pardon the pun, answer that and your halfway to making a choice about where to begin, or what to follow.
Curiosity challenges conventional norms and encourages innovative thinking. By seeking unconventional solutions and exploring uncharted territories, you can develop a unique artistic voice. The pursuit of new ideas can lead to ground-breaking concepts and original approaches that set your work apart from others. I would encourage as much experimentation with different mediums and substrates, that your budget and space will allow, so you find out what suits you and your artistic journey best. Until you discover the next thing that is!
Curiosity fosters empathy and an understanding of diverse perspectives. By immersing yourself in different cultures, histories, and social issues, you gain a deeper appreciation for the world around you. This broader perspective seeps into your artwork, enabling you to create pieces that resonate with a diverse audience. A bit the way they say that travel broadens the mind, reading art books, visiting gallery’s and exhibitions provides an opportunity to look, learn and expand your own ideas and techniques.
Depending on what you want from your artistic practise it might include being brave and entering exhibitions. Speaking of which I have recently been accepted to exhibit three paintings at Bruton Art Society 70th Annual Exhibition. So if you're in Bruton, or in Somerset, and in the market for looking at original art, then it's well worth a visit and everything is available to purchase. https://www.brutonartsociety.co.uk/call-to-artists/ I will be also be stewarding at various times to, so we might even have a chance to meet, so please come and say hello.
Negative Aspects of Being a Curious Artist:
The abundance of possibilities can sometimes overwhelm a curious artist. With so much to explore, it's easy to get lost or spread yourself too thin. Managing the flood of ideas and maintaining focus can become a challenge, potentially leading to feelings of frustration or creative block.
Curiosity often fuels self-reflection and self-critique, which can lead to self-doubt, and imposter syndrome. I am a therapist as well as an artist, I have had clients who struggle with 'Imposter Syndrome' https://lynnbrookeshypnotherapy.co.uk So if you are interested to know more about how I can support you with this topic, or anything else, then please follow the link and get in touch.
But as you continuously question and experiment it's natural to wonder if your work is meaningful or if you're on the right artistic path. This self-doubt can be draining, requiring resilience and self-assurance to overcome.
Being a curious artist means investing time in learning, researching, and exploring new avenues. However, this constant pursuit of knowledge can compete with the time needed for actual art creation. Balancing curiosity with the practical demands of producing artwork can be a juggling act that requires effective time management skills. In recent conversation with a friend, it came as quite a surprise to them to hear that the majority of my time, goes into research, promoting my art website, and I'm not painting all day.
Lack of Focus:
Whilst curiosity is a valuable asset for an artist, it can also lead to distractions. With countless ideas and interests vying for attention, it's easy to get side-tracked or lose sight of your original intentions. Staying focused on a specific project or theme may require discipline and a keen sense of direction. You know how this goes don’t you? You only intended to look at something on FaceBook, and before you know it you’ve spent and hour looking at cute puppy videos, or house selling apps’ searching for you
Being a curious artist is a journey filled with both positives and negatives. Embracing the positives allows you to tap into boundless inspiration, foster growth, think innovatively, and gain a broader perspective. However, it's crucial to navigate the negatives by managing overwhelm, combating self-doubt, practicing effective time management, time limit or temporary ban on social media and maintaining focus. By acknowledging and understanding these aspects, you can harness the transformative power of curiosity and continue evolving as an artist, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.