Perhaps you, too, experienced a major life event that helped you realize art is an important part of your life. You may have experienced a loss, a health crisis, empty nest, or retirement like many in this community. It made you stop, reflect and consciously incorporate art into your life. That can look like: making more permanent space in your home (yay! a studio! That’s my dining room now by the way) as well as investing in supplies and online and in-person classes

This has sustained you for a while and really helped you grow. Art journaling and/or classes where you copy the style of the teacher (I call them paint-like-me) have taught you countless techniques, improved your skill and confidence and have you asking for more.ย 

But lately, you show up to your studio increasingly drawing a blank. Without the structure of a paint-like-me class or prompts from art challenges, you don’t know what to work on. The choice is overwhelming and makes you feel scattered (I mean, choose one art supply?!). You are excited by the idea of exploring your own ideas and your art but can’t quite figure out how to get from where you are to where you want to be.ย 

And that is what we are going to walk through today. Here is the clarity you seek: what’s next to confidently expressing yourself through unique art.ย 

Hey there! ๐Ÿ‘‹ I’m Carrie. Here on Artist Strong I help self-taught artists who have a home studio, feeling stuck with their art, move from wondering whatโ€™s next to confidently expressing themselves through unique, original art. To date, thousands have joined the community.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘‰๐ŸฝIf you feel like gaps in your learning hold you back from making your best art, sign up and watch my workshop, called How to Create Art from Your Imagination, for free. Itโ€™s completely free for you to watch and the link is in the description below.

Now letโ€™s discuss the roadmap to finding your artist groove.

Step One: Identify what you want.

If you don’t know what you want for your art, it’s hard to show up regularly to your studio with direction and ultimately, motivation.ย 

Do you want to achieve a certain level of skill? What does that look like?ย 

Do you want to eventually sell and or exhibit your art?ย 

Do you want to confidently Capture Moments and loved ones in your personal life to share and hang in your home?ย 

The other day someone told me they want their work to be more sophisticated. That is not specific enough. What does that mean? Why? What outcomes would sophistication bring to your creative life?ย 

If you can’t be specific and honest and curious with yourself, it’s very difficult to move forward from here.ย 

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ Now Iโ€™d love you to practice this in the comments below. Be specific and tell me what you want for your art in the comments below.

Once you are super specific with what you want, it’s time forย 

Step Two: Create a Plan

This is where you create your curriculum, your personal roadmap to voice.

ย Let’s say you are tired of drawing a blank, you’ve reflected and realized you want to create unique art that reflects your unique voice as a creative.ย 

How do we get there?ย 

First you need to acquire the skills you need to achieve your goal. If you want to share your passion for wildlife through colored pencils, like my student Rick (hi Rick!) can you draw these animals with any level of realism?ย 

If it’s not where you want to be you need to learn:ย 

  • The elements and principles of art.
  • Art theory like composition, perspective, etc.
  • How to apply the elements and theory to your work.
  • Which techniques, with your specific medium, will help you achieve desired effects. And
  • How to practice to improve upon these new techniques and understanding of theory.ย 

It’s not about mastery. It’s about learning how to practice in the way that’s most effective for your goals so you can work towards mastery while you also work towards creating art with a clear style. I donโ€™t want you to focus on the flaws, but see the progress you make by showing up and filling in your foundations.

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ If you relate to today’s topic, comment PRACTICE below and be sure to like and subscribe so I can continue to make content that helps you with your art.

After your foundations are in place it’s about building a practice. How do you show up regularly for your art, not just when you are inspired?

Step Three: Show up Regularly for your Art

Here you need to develop some accountability strategies to help you follow through with your commitment to your art.ย 

Accountability does not mean changing who you are or behaving differently; it means working with your personality and the life you lead to make it easier to show up.ย 

This is an important nuance a lot of accountability conversations miss! I really recommend research by Gretchen Rubin and James Clear for further information on this topic.ย 

This is also an important time to start seeking quality feedback on your art.ย 

I have a few videos on obtaining quality feedback which I’ve linked below:

Boundaries for Bullies

How to use feedback to create your best art

3 Criteria for high quality feedback for your art

Feedback from peers and mentors speeds your learning and growth, helps you continue to show up, and encourages you to start exploring ideas you may have previously ignored.ย 

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ Today’s video is brought to you by my workshop How to Create Art from your Imagination, which you can watch for free. Start watching by clicking the link below.ย 

This is when you combine your knowledge of foundations, consistency in showing up and making with feedback to explore your unique ideas.ย 

Step Four: Explore your Voice Through a Seriesย 

A lot of people hear advice that tells them to stick to one style and countless creatives without a developed style don’t even try to find their voice because they don’t want to feel stuck with one thing for life.ย 

Good news: that’s a lie. Artists across history have not stuck to a single style and that is how art has evolved over time.ย 

What you can do, however, is commit to a number of works that explore one idea or topic. So, let’s go back to my student Rick. He could decide he’s going to do six drawings all about birds of prey, or even to explore a single bird (I’ll pick hummingbirds because I love them).

The topic, his materials… whatever boundaries he creates for these six pieces he sticks to. And this is called a series of work.ย 

Not only will you have a sense of completion because there is a beginning, middle and end to this project, it is a means of developing your voice and style. It offers motivation and progress.

When the series is complete you can reflect on your technique, message, color choices, etc. and begin to embrace and consciously work with artistic choices that bring out your voice.ย 

With your foundations in place you will have the confidence to self-reflect and get the kind of feedback that helps you take greater risks with each series you create. And that is when your voice will really start to shine through.ย 

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ If you’re excited by today’s conversation please comment below VOICE and let me know this is a topic you enjoy.ย 

I’ve laid out today my method and process of using what I call the 3 Phases of Artistic Expression which I’ve also linked below so you can stop worrying about what to work on next and use a clear roadmap to showcasing and sharing your confident and unique art.

Putting in all of the research, developing your own curriculum, cultivating the relationships with peers and mentors for quality feedback, and more can feel daunting.ย 

The good news is this is exactly what I help my students with inside Self-Taught to Self-Confident. It is a roadmap to your destination of confidently expressing yourself through unique art.ย 

๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿฝ If your current path isn’t getting you to where you want to go, let’s talk. Choose a time from my calendar below to learn more. I’ll be honest if I don’t think you’re a good fit so you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. Schedule a call today.

Today we talked about the clarity we need to move from feeling stuck in our studio to confidently expressing ourselves through unique art. I outlined the roadmap and path you can take to start owning and celebrating your unique voice. This includes:ย 

  • Step One: Being honest with yourself and specific about what you really want for your art.ย 
  • Step Two: Filling in your foundations so you have all the skill you need to start confidently taking risks with your art.
  • Step Three: Building a regular practice because showing up consistently for your art means youโ€™re making enough work to get quality feedback from peers and mentors to grow.
  • Step Four: By creating work in a series we start to develop the ideas we have in our minds and have the confidence and knowledge to start putting them to paper or canvas.

The world will truly be a better place with your art in it. There is no better time than now to start.

As always, thank you for watching.ย 

Remember: proudly call yourself an artist.

Together, we are Artist Strong!

Schedule your conversation with Carrie today: