But I’m not good at drawing. I can’t paint. I don’t think I would know where to begin. I’m just not artistic. These are common phrases from my not so “artsy” circle of people. In truth, many may not be the most creative souls, yet if there is one thing I’ve learned as a designer and artist over the years it is that successful art can lie in the idea as often as the talent.
I started loving graphic design and art in college. Photoshop, Illustrator, making movies, designing websites, photography. I took classes in everything and loved it all. And while I became very good at a lot of them, I never really excelled in one program or field to be the “best” at any. No award winning talent surfaced here, just pretty good mediocrity. In my 30’s I can be more content in the fact I will never paint the Mona Lisa or work for Pixar. Through trial and error, I have learned I can still contribute to the art world in a fun way I enjoy and that others may also enjoy my art. I learned the strength of an idea.
Art is obviously very subjective. Think about your favorite pieces in your house. The sign that makes you laugh because it reminds you of your sister. The painting that looks just like your dog. The card that has your favorite quote written on it that your husband picked up for you just because he knew you would love. My favorite painting in my entire house is in our guest room called “Fat Mama” and it’s certainly not painted by the most talented artist I’ve ever come across. But I bought it when my sister and I were traveling in Cape Town and I am reminded of that amazing, once-in-a-lifetime trip every time I pass it.
This blog post aims to inspire you to just go out and create without being so afraid that people will judge your work negatively because in the end, why care if you enjoy it? I hear the critics in my head (or sometimes in person too), but just remember beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all those other cliches and do it until you love it.
I am going to break down a sort of “formula” for just creating. The whole “do it for the process” mantra is true and eventually you can come up with a piece that you like for the time. Maybe it’s not going to be featured in a museum, but it’s perfect for you and that moment in time to make you smile when you see it just like "Fat Mama" does for me.
THE FORMULA TO YOUR NEXT ART IDEA
STEP 1. Spot that blank spot in your home and get a feeling of what you would like there.
STEP 2. Pinterest the shit out of things until you collage a vision in your mind. Don’t be afraid to “copy” to some extent. Cut up those perfect project aspects you love and don’t love until you have a unique vision in your head.
STEP 3. Know your strength. For example, I am not the best at drawing. I can paint easier and I can play with things digitally, but I am not going to sketch out a map of the city in pen and like my work in the end.
STEP 4. Try. Retry if necessary. Have fun with it. Play.
That’s it. There is my magic formula. Almost every piece in my shop has come from a blank wall in a place I’ve lived or a customer’s home who needs help designing an idea. Why not give those little nooks and corners a personal touch for once!
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE CREATION OF THIS FEATURED ART
I love creating for a nursery in part because I know it’s not a forever piece. This piece is nothing crazy, but it’s fun and funky to me and perfect for our new nursery shelf art. Nursery art is a great place to try your DIY skills because the pieces are meant to be whimsical and carry more imperfections. That’s an art that I think any parent can master!
Step 1. I spot that empty frame in our house that I am just looking to fill with something silly and fun for our newest little’s arrival. The only thing I know is that I want it to be minimalist. I have a lot going on in the room already and don’t need more colors, etc.
Step 2. I explore Pinterest for ideas and in looking at pictures of nurseries I remember my own mother’s favorite lullaby.
Step 3. My kids are having some arts and crafts fun and I am doodling away. I have a thing with birds as is and am thinking of a silly little mockingbird to go with the lullaby. Voila I have a little sketch. I then take out a little acrylic paint and recreate it because my sketch in a frame is just not going to do.
Step 4. Now this is where you can tweak it! Maybe you can’t really own it on the computer and have fantastic handwriting. Well grab that paint pen and letter it in then. Me however, I have terrible penmanship, no matter how hard I try, so I am going digital. I scan my basic little painting in, I pick a font and I fill in the text. I also do have the ability to tweak my painting in itself here a little on the computer without fear of messing it up. In the end you choose your path and go with it.
Maybe it’s not a forever piece, but this art is fun for the moment to me and was a really simple just “Do it for the process” type deal that holds whimsy and a touch of a childhood memory. My point in the end is stop overthinking your next creation and just go out and do it! So what if you change your mind and hate it a month later. You’ll only get better.
Also, if you are so in love with this little print and want to print one for yourself you can click here to save a copy.