My friend Elizabeth came in to Art Village the other day to show us her latest project. She used six ceramic tiles and on three of them she drew three wedding portraits of her grandparents. On one she painted a set of wedding rings and on the other two she painted some flowers. The details were amazing. You could really see all the planning and care it took to create these awesome little works of art.
It’s always fun to watch Elizabeth work on her projects. She comes in with a plan, usually an elaborate one. She diligently and meticulously sketches and paints her pieces. When completed, she takes the extra step and finishes it off by framing it in some unique way.
Watching Elizabeth work on this project made me think of how each of us approaches things in life in our own unique way. Most of us have heard of the four basic personality types, and it’s fun to see how each personality approaches art making.
Some artists are planners. Like Elizabeth they like to make sure that each step is completed to perfection and they diligently continue on until the project is completed.
Some like variety. They like to try different types of art and art making is often a social activity to be shared with friends. We see this in our clay classes. People sharing ideas and having a good time.
Some are very results oriented. They just want to get it done. My niece approaches art making in this way. She’ll make a book complete with narrative and illustrations within a half hour.
Then there are those who enjoy the process. Life is a journey. Why hurry if the act of art making is fun in itself? This is my nephew. He’ll come in to paint a ceramic piece and keep adding color over color until the piece is just dripping with glaze.
We all have a combination of these personality styles and bents in our approach to life. There’s a little bit of each of these in all of us. I think it’s fun to try art making from the viewpoints of these different personalities. These are a few exercises to try.
Planners – Choose a painting or drawing from art history and try to duplicate it.
Variety/Social – Find some friends and do a joint art project like a collage or altered book where everyone works on a little bit of it.
Results – For one week do a small painting or drawing a day – fast and furious
Journey – Staple a large piece of canvas to a wall to create an ongoing work of art. Add a little here and there over time. It will be the ever changing, never -ending artwork.
Notice how you approach art. What feels good to you? What approach is more of a stretch? Knowing your art making personality makes it easier for you to appreciate your way of art making without comparing to other people. That’s what’s so great about being a unique creative being. None of us are the same. So embrace your art personality.
Art Saves Lives!