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What Is The Best Way To Develop A Body Of Work?

A couple of weeks ago I was discussing how to bring more meaning into our work. We talked about the why. There is really only one way to do this, if you want to create a meaningful connection, and that stems from our own experiences in some manner.

We can either:

1. Draw from our childhoods, - you can see I had a passion for handbags way back when! This might have led to a passion to design handbags - not that it did......


2. Mine things we have developed an interest in during adult hood. Often a hobby or passion we have for something else can provide a rich source of inspiration that informs our artwork. This can then gradually evolve into a body of work that offers a different point of view about the subject under consideration.

Everything is filtered through our own experiences and perceptions. This is why I can have eight people in a class paint the same subject and they all come out completely differently, even with a very limited palette!

When we are intimately familiar with a subject we see it in a different way to others. The trick is to gradually understand what it is that you are seeing/experiencing. Are there patterns that keep showing up in your work? These might be any of the following, or something else entirely.

a. Certain colours may keep making an appearance - We have all heard of Picasso’s Blue Period.

b. What colour period are you in? How might you maximise, explore or investigate that further.

c. Shapes may be the thing that catches your eye. Can you develop a signature line, shape or mark in your work?

d. Or you might find yourself fascinated by the combination of line and tone.

e. Do you like closeups or the birds eye view?

f. What thought processes happen for you when you think about creating an abstract? Do you always start from similar images, or do you create solely from your imagination?

g. If you work from imagination, do you follow a similar process each time - a structure that underpins your work?

The thing is, the more aware you are of your own process, the better you are able to explore different ways of developing your vision and exploring your own artistic fingerprint.

Please share in the comments, if you have something that has served you well in developing your unique vision. You will find mine in coming blog posts, as I unfold my own artistic process.

Next weeks blog raises the question - In or out. what's it to be?

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