Need help finding creative focus?

Need help finding your creative focus? #creativity @twoeasels



So you took an art class, or two, or even more, maybe you haven't taken any lessons at all because you are just naturally talented and creative.

But what do you do when you just can't choose one area to focus on?

There are a few approaches to this dilemma, you either fall in love with something from the start and that's all you want to do for the rest of your life, AKA a niche.

But if you are like me, you hate to niche your creativity, how could you possibly be happy "only" doing one type of art forever. That is not creative to me at all and I just don't understand how people do it.

Best thing to do is develop your own style, but remember that might take a while, but over time people will recognize your art no matter what it's make out of or what the subject is.

Some other options for the dabblers...

 

You explore more

Yes I know, this post is about narrowing down your crazy creativity, but bear with me.

Maybe there is something else out there that you haven't tried yet, that you might actually be good at if you just give it a chance. 

You may be good at drawing with pencils, but have you tried combining other media and mixing ink or marker into your drawing? Try things that scare you.

I use to hate watercolors, and not because I tried them and didn't like them, I didn't even want to try them because I didn't think I'd be any good. But one day, I decided to do it. And guess what, I love it now. I may not be as skilled as other artists, but it's perfect for my illustration purposes which now consists of watercolor, colored pencils, and ink. 

You won't know until you try, so go and try it all and then come back and start the elimination process.

 

Stop doing things you suck at

I don't mean to be harsh here, but a lot of creatives, including me, have a mental image or goal of what they want their art to look like, or a certain style they want to master. Sometimes that is just not achievable.

You may want to be the best caricature artist in the world, but if you just don't have the skills to pick out unique characteristics from people's appearances, you won't get far. (I know, I tried to be one too).

My main problem was, and still is, that I try to make my paintings realistic. When I paint I want to make the landscape look real, or my drawings to look like photos. But I had to realize at some point (last year) that I just couldn't do it, I suck at painting realism. So I opted out for abstract/impressionistic style when it comes to my painting. That way I'm not constantly beating myself up about my trees not looking real because I gave up on that whole idea altogether.

Now, I could just say that "with practice you will get better". Maybe. That is not a guarantee, if you practice for a while and see no improvement, just move on. Your energy and time will be better spent on something that you actually CAN do.

 

Focus on what you already know

Once you've explored other options, and eliminated things you suck at, it's time to focus on things you are actually good at. Have you really tried to stick with something for a while? Or are you a dabbler, one day here another day there and then you have nothing to show for it. I'm like that too, don't worry. I know the solution, I just have a hard time getting there. 

My advice is to give yourself homework projects, pretend you are in school. I remember it was so much easier to focus on homework because I knew that I had guidelines to stick to. When I do art for myself I tend to go all over the place. 

 

Start a series or long term project

The best way to dabble, yet still find a focus, is to work on a series. 

EXAMPLE

Series 1:  10 Bookmarks that feature flowers
Series 2:  10 Mini landscape paintings
Series 3:  8 Baby portraits
Series 4:  10 Watercolor abstract pieces featuring leaves

Work on one series at a time, give yourself a month to create the bookmarks, another month for the paintings, and so on. That way your mind won't wonder every day, looking for things to do. You will have a set goal and a timeframe to work with. When you're done with one series, move on to the next.

This way you can still be known for doing baby portraits as well as flower bookmarks, but you have a solid series to present to people. So in case you get a booth at an art show, you will have multiple collections to show, instead of one cat drawing, one landscape, a couple random bookmarks. You get the point?

Now, after you do a few of these series you may find yourself sticking to one or two for longer periods of time, and maybe over time you will develop a niche, and that's fine, just don't limit yourself at the beginning, explore first, then narrow down.

Here are some ideas for project and challenges

Ideas for finding focus:

The 100 day project
A 30 day project
A photo a day for 365 days
7 Days of sketches
30 Art challenge
30 Day doodle challenge

Want more? Visit Pinterest or Instagram to see what others are up to and get more ideas.