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  • Writer's pictureGina Shord

Why is artist research important?

We are all coming at this from different stages of our art journeys.

This question reminds me of being in secondary school, in art class we had to collect artists who inspired our work and stick them in our sketchbooks. When you leave school people forget to continue doing this... But it still remains very vital to developing as an artist.

It is so important to know why you're inspired by another artist so you can combine those elements into your own work.

You should ask yourself; What was it about the artwork you liked?

  • Was it the subject matter?

  • Why did they make certain choices & what did you like about it?

  • Did it make you feel something or make you laugh?

  • Was it the colour combinations and if so why did you like them?

  • Was it the use of shapes or simplicity?

  • Was it nostalgic?

Really dig deep and feel free to think of your own questions!

Once you understand the choices the artist was making try to transform them and take them further.

Each artist if they are aware of it or not set themselves rules, it is good to have more than one this makes your work more unique, but it is up to you to make them and stick to them for a consistent style.

For example drawing all elements with outlines - they could play with the weights of these lines but they have to ensure everything had an outline, you could also combine this with watercolour textures, solid black digital colour and a limited colour pallet. If you continue with these rules you'll bring some consistency to your portfolio.

Combining what you liked about the artist work & your own hobbies and interests will places a huge part in finding your own creative voice.

Austin Kleon Show your work artist book.

And that is exactly why artist research is important, as artists we should not only be inspired by the world around us but we should also research into the many artists that have come before us so we can learn from them, adapt it and make it our own.

A great book I would recommend is 'Steal like an artist' written by Austin Kleon a line that really sums this up is:

"Being an artist means learning from those who came before you. Very few things in the art world are truly original." Austin Kleon | Steal like an artist.

"Great artists are able to pull inspiration from multiple sources. They can adapt and evolve their style to fit the project they are working on in the moment. They aren't stubborn and arrogant. They are always willing to learn from others to become better". Austin Kleon | Steal like an artist. - steal like an artist by Austin Kleon.

If you get a lot out of Steal like an artist I would also recommend 'Show your work' by Austin Kleon, it really is motivational and puts everything in simple terms.

One thing I found really helpful was making a Pinterest board of all things I found inspiring, Artist work, home decor, fashion, everything and anything that gets your blood pumping! I found this so helpful because I was able to see all the things I find inspiring in one place and was able to see patterns in what I was drawn to so I could emulate this into my own work.

Hope this has helped you in some way and you continue your day inspired and ready to create. ✌️😍

Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope it has been helpful to you in some way and if you know someone who might enjoy it too: please share it forward. ✌️


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