Saturday, September 27, 2008

Art: Has it all been done before? Experiment and see!

No, of course not, but after my article yesterday what did I discover but that there is a similar method out there used in jewelry bead making...they call the finished result 'pillows'. Instead of blowing into it they just form the 'pillow' much like I did my bagpiper bag and then insert a little flat sided bead inside to keep it from collapsing and then bake. Haha...and I thought I was so ingenius! 

So it does beg the there anything new out there or has someone, somewhere, in some point in history, done it before? Well, you know, it really doesn't matter. It's perfectly fine to use techniques that are tried and proven or, through your own efforts, stumble upon something already done. And the only way there will be new, yet to be discovered processes is if we experiment.

Oh yeah, there'll be tons of failures along the way. Sometimes materials just aren't meant to do what you ask of them, or there's a flawed theory in what you try to accomplish. But when you get a Eureka! moment it's worth all the effort. And even if someone else has done it, what counts is that you have found something that works in your own work and will be utilized in your own unique way.

So what do you experiment with? Well, create challenges for yourself in your artwork...add elements that you've never tried before. Try to approach them in a unique way. If you are afraid to try it on existing work, then do practice pieces. For painting I used to recommend making photocopies of your existing artwork and playing on them. For sculpting, you can just make a blob to practice on or a simple piece without detail that you're not worried about. If you carve then try soap or soft wood for easier practice. 

Never be afraid to fail...something newer artists say a lot is 'I'm afraid to do anything more to it or I might ruin it'. Well, I understand, I was new once myself and it's hard to let go when you worked so hard to do something well. But if you don't learn to let go and take a chance you will never grow, as an artist and as a human being. 

In case you haven't noticed I have a new link to the side here for Peter Holland's wonderful sculpture site. If you want to know just about anything concerning sculpture you'll probably find it there or in links he's provided.  I could hardly tear myself away to sculpt yesterday and will certainly have a lot of reading to do there. Enjoy!

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