Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Keeping an Art Journal

I received this fantastic article yesterday by Keith Bond and I thought that I would share it. This is just part of the article, to read the full version, click HERE.

Why a Journal
Forcing yourself to write about art (specifically your art), will help you sort through all the abstract concepts. You will begin to wrap your mind around the ideas that are so elusive. The simple exercise of writing promotes understanding. It is like taking those scattered puzzle pieces and finding where they all fit. Over time, your puzzle will begin to come together and you will see more clearly the image that it makes. You will better understand art in general. But more importantly, you will understand yourself. You will understand your art and why you create. You will understand the 'what' and 'how' behind your art as well. With this understanding, you can then find the words to communicate it to others. The more you write, the more you will find ways to share your story.
When to Write
You must find the times that work best for you. You may write daily or weekly. You may write when a thought or prompting comes. It is important to write things while they are in your mind. If you wait, you will lose those insights. If you get these thoughts when you can't spend much time writing, at least jot down a couple notes to prompt you when you have more time. When you have a revelation about art, write it down. When you are trying to understand a concept, write about it. Before you begin a work, write about your initial inspiration. Why do you want to create the piece? If you are still trying to sort through your options while conceiving the piece, write about those options. When you finish a work of art, write about it. Write about its meaning.
What to Write
Much of the previous paragraph also includes what to write. Additional topics may include your methods, your influences, and your frustrations. Write about your experiences you have while creating your art. You may wish to write your response to someone's critique. Write the things you wish you had said to that client at the show. Find a quote that inspires you and write about that. Write about your successes or failures. The options are endless. Just write about art.

This article appears courtesy of FineArtViews.com by Clint Watson, a free email newsletter about art, marketing, inspiration and fine living for artists, collectors and galleries (and anyone else who loves art) . For a complimentary subscription, visit: http://www.fineartviews.com/

I have experienced the importance of journal keeping myself. It gives me a chance to write down my inspiration, my hopes and dreams, and all the thoughts I have about art. Most of my journal entries about art contain my new ideas for paintings, what I want to say with them, and how I might convey my message. This is particularly important for me to do when I am thinking of a new religious painting. I have several in mind right now, and if it weren't for my notes about them, I would have either forgotten them entirely, or forgotten how to portray my message. Every now and then we are hit with inspiration, and when that happens, we need to act upon it and write our ideas down so that they can never be lost to us.

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