A fresh start at art
(The Freeman) - January 4, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The start of a new year can be a good opportunity for starting anew, with enthusiasm and inspiration. Seeing the beauty that surrounds life may be given another shot. It would be a good move to make it a part of one’s New Year resolutions to give his or her penchant for art a fresh start.

Going for something new. This time of the year is an opportune time try another art form. There’s no need to carry over to this year one’s disappointment from unfruitful attempt at one art form in the past year. Perhaps one can try out a new technique, style or simply experiment on various approaches to a chosen art for this year. Trying something new often leads the budding artist to discover more and, thus, learn more.

Looking back to old works. A look back to one’s previous artworks can present something good to learn. As one may now look at his or her own works with fresh eyes, certain styles and techniques may emerge as unique or simply effective. Highlighting such discoveries, one could develop a mark all his or her own. 

Making time. Obviously, the only way to produce actual results from one’s artistic ideas to make time to do it. It may take certain personal sacrifices, like forgoing with a social event in order to have time to do one’s art. It has been said that the person who works conscientiously can beat the one with talent. Consistent practice is the most important way to move forward as an artist.

Doing what’s possible. The world has a voracious appetite for great works of art. But it doesn’t mean to say that an artist has to achieve greatly in one whack. Even the legendary artists would confide that their great achievements did not come out of a singular effort. Oftentimes, they just did what possible to do – but the little steps led to the big direction! Dealing with manageable tasks one at a time is also an effective antidote to getting overwhelmed.

Appreciating the works of accomplished artists. Whether art is serious work or a hobby, a budding artist can be fired up by looking at the works of the masters. Thus, it is good to visit galleries and exhibits in order to see for oneself up close the techniques employed in their works by the accomplished artists. The gallery is also the convergence point of artists, dealers, and agents, and it’s good to eavesdrop on their conversations – so one would have an idea of what the arts world is currently after.

Visiting an artist’s studio. Even while an artist’s studio is often depicted to be a place of disarray and chaos, actually observing an artist at work can give an onlooker a semblance of order. The artist knows exactly where everything is. The studio appears, in the end, like organized chaos. The budding artist will then realize that the disarray has a purpose perhaps – to emphasize the role of the finished artwork as eventual proof of a sense of order.

Buying some artworks. Art just pops up everywhere, and one only has to have the eyes for it. It is not only in galleries and art shops where one may find a good piece of art. Well, a brilliant sunset or a beautiful garden is there to find somewhere and relish – for free. But to an aspiring artist, there’s nothing like being surrounded by artworks of accomplished artists, for inspiration… to trigger creative ideas. A good artwork need not be pricey.

Building a tools set. Creating a masterpiece would be a little more difficult with spiky and less precise brushes. A complete tools set can be built a few tools at a time. A growing set of art tools can a good motivation for one to keep on. Past disappointment with one’s efforts at art disappears quickly at the sight of new tools.

Keeping eye at the bigger picture. Leonardo da Vinci, or Michelangelo, or Picasso or Van Gogh is hard to match indeed. But that’s only how these great art masters look to people in the present. In their time, these masters never thought themselves as extraordinary; they just did what was possible for them to do at the moment. They kept their sight at the big picture – they loved to do it and they knew they could. And so they did. They probably didn’t think as much about material rewards as they did about their own sense of fulfillment.

Those who tried art before and failed may not waive it completely. The art that pulsates in one’s heart is seeking expression. And it would be a most cruel self-sabotage to stifle it for good simply because the initial attempt failed.

Again the year presents a chance for starting anew, for a fresh start. One shall not lose sight of the big picture. The initial failure may only provide a stark contrast as one pushes forward on the way to create a next masterpiece!

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