Artistic Inspiration And Focus – A Ramble

Well, it has been quite a while since I last wrote about making art and, although many of this month’s paintings aren’t exactly the most inspired or detailed ones I’ve ever made, I’ve found that I’ve been feeling more inspired when preparing some of next month’s paintings. Here’s a preview of one of them:

This is a reduced-size preview. The full-size painting will be posted here on the 4th January 2020.

So, what changed? Well, simply put, I had a bit more time to make art than I’ve had when making this month’s art. But, in addition to this, I also made a bit more of a decision to prioritise making art than I did when I made some of this month’s paintings since, due to being busy with various things, it was often fairly low on my priority list.

And, when I placed more focus and emphasis on making art, I suddenly found that I felt more inspired. But, why? Well, it is because actually making the paintings isn’t the most complicated or time-consuming part of making art. No, the most important part of making art is actually planning your next painting.

This doesn’t mean that you have to make a collection of detailed preliminary sketches months in advance or anything like that, it just means that when you sit down to start sketching out your next painting, you need to give it your full attention. You need to be in a state of mind where the full force of your imagination is focused on daydreaming about interesting places, moments, scenes etc… So, that when an interesting-looking image appears in your mind, you can notice it and turn it into art.

But, most of all, you need to spend your focus wisely. If you treat making art as an important thing, as a chance to make something cool, then you’ll find that you’re more likely to feel inspired. The more you put into art, the more you’ll probably get out of it. Yes, this won’t work literally every time (since uninspiration can be caused by all sorts of different things), but it can be useful sometimes.

Even so, you still need to keep making art when you are feeling uninspired, when you feel that art is less important, when every piece of art you make looks terrible, when you don’t have the right amount of time to do it justice, when you’re tired or distracted etc… too. Why? Well, it is a good way of staying ready for the times when you are able to give your art the amount of focus that it needs to really do it justice.

Even when making art feels like an annoying chore, keeping up regular art practice means that you’ll still be in the right frame of mind for making art when it doesn’t feel like a chore. Even if you’re just paying lip service to your art practice during these times, the fact that you’re staying in practice means that, when you get the chance to focus more on art, you’ll be able to seize it quickly and make the most of it.

Yes, it isn’t practical to give art the level of focus or priority that it needs literally all of the time but, making more time for it when possible or keeping up your practice (however superficially) until more time appears to be one of the best ways to get inspired. Again, this doesn’t work with literally every type of uninspiration, but it can be a useful thing to bear in mind during the times when you can’t seem to come up with any good ideas for paintings or drawings.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

Today’s Art (12th December 2018)

Unfortunately, the uninspired phase continues! Today’s digitally-edited painting is a somewhat minimalist gothic painting that certainly isn’t the most inspired thing in the world.

As usual, this painting is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

“Realm” By C. A. Brown

Alternate Versions Of Recent Paintings – A Good Idea If You’re Uninspired?

Well, although I was still busy writing last year’s Christmas stories at the time of writing this article, I thought that I’d talk very briefly about making art today. This was mostly because I found myself feeling somewhat uninspired.

Basically, I’d made a 1980s-themed drawing that didn’t really turn out as well as I’d hoped – even after extensive editing. So, I thought that I’d try to make another piece of art instead. But, I was a little bit pressed for time and needed to come up with a good-looking painting quickly.

Luckily, I remembered the view from the kitchen window earlier that morning. Thanks to the season and the time of the day, the world outside was shrouded in wonderfully atmospheric dark blue blue light. Needless to say, this seemed like it was worth painting. But, I’d already made a painting of the same view about a month earlier:

“Kitchen Window” By C. A. Brown

So, thinking quickly, I decided that my upcoming painting would be a companion piece to that one. I could use the old painting as a reference, whilst also doing a few things differently in my new painting. Here’s a preview of it:

This is a reduced-size preview, the full-size painting will be posted here on the 5th October.

So, is this sort of thing a good strategy when you’re uninspired?

Simply put, anything that works when you’re feeling uninspired is a good thing. Plus, since you’re partially repeating what you’ve done before, then it also means that you can make a good-looking piece of art quickly too. So, as a way to make art when you’re uninspired, it can certainly work!

However, I’d advise either not doing it too often, making extensive changes or waiting as long as possible before making new versions of your existing art. The thing to remember is to set your new version apart from the old version in an immediately noticeable way, and to make sure that there’s still a decent level of variety in the art you produce.

The main advantage to waiting as long as possible is that you’ll have become a better artist (if you practice regularly) during the time gap, so a remake of a painting from say – a year or two ago- can also be a good way to show how much you’ve improved.

Still, if you’re feeling uninspired, then making a new alternative version of one of your more recent paintings can be a good way to actually make some art. Just don’t rely on this technique too often.

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Sorry for such a short, basic and rambling article, but I hope it was useful 🙂