Let’s dive deep into the world of art-making and explore that ever-elusive sweet spot between trying new things and sticking with what we know best. Finding a balance between experimentation and consistency can be confusing, but . It’s a journey I’ve been on for three decades as a painter and I’m excited to share some insights.
During our coveted studio time, there can be two forces pulling us in opposite directions. On one end, we’ve got the world of experimentation, where we artists unleash our inner mavericks. It’s like a creative playground with no boundaries—new techniques, unique materials, and thinking outside the box.
On the flip side, we’ve got the realm of consistency, the land of dedication and practice. It’s where artists commit to a chosen medium and subject, fine-tune our skills, and develop or refine our unique style. Consistency brings mastery, and it’s like building a beautiful artistic home.
So which of these should we focus on? Let’s explore!
Now, consistency might not sound as thrilling, but it’s the backbone of artistic mastery. Here are some benefits for artists when we focus on a specific style or technique:
Here is the big question: How do we balance these two creative forces? Check out these tips:
Know that your creative journey isn’t a straight line. There are times when you’ll crave experimentation. Embrace it. Let your creative spirit roam free without worrying about making everything match. Generally, I find that the experimentation phase is useful for me when I’m not sure about the next series or what I want to focus on. It’s good for generating new ideas, and helps me to figure out what the next series will be.
After you discover an exciting technique or style you want to stick with, create multiple pieces with that focus in mind. Use these moments to hone your skills and dive deep into your chosen medium or technique. It’s only after these periods of focus and dedication that you can create a strong series, and eventually, a cohesive body of work. If your goal is to exhibit your work in a more professional setting, then you will have to spend time in the focus period.
Understand why you’re creating a particular piece. Ask yourself questions like:
By setting clear intentions, you can choose whether to lean towards experimentation or consistency in that studio session.
The balance between experimentation and consistency isn’t set in stone. It’s fluid and adaptable. What works for you today might not work tomorrow, and that’s perfectly okay.
Study the Masters
Learn from those who’ve walked this creative path before you. Study the works of artists you admire. You’ll notice their creative journeys are full of twists and turns, experimentation, and consistency.
Let’s get practical:
Your Artistic Journey
Your journey as an artist is like an odyssey—a continuous exploration of self through the ever-shifting landscape of creativity. Balancing experimentation and consistency isn’t about finding a fixed formula; it’s about dancing to your own creative rhythm. Embrace the spectrum, adapt, and watch your artistry flourish.
If you have a passion for art, want to concentrate on a series and craft a unified body of work, I invite you to explore my online group coaching programs.
Art Evolve caters to artists aspiring to elevate their practice and construct a compelling series of artworks. Meanwhile, Art Ignite is tailored for those who are prepared to share their creations with the world. In this program, you’ll delve deep into the intricacies of pricing, titling, framing your artwork, pursuing gallery representation and exhibitions, crafting artist statements and bios, and more.
Both programs offer an intimate setting, accommodating a maximum of 10 participants, and feature weekly live online sessions to facilitate your artistic journey. To delve further into these programs and discover how they can enhance your artistic endeavors, please visit the program details here.
I am an artist out of Santa Fe, New Mexico who has been painting for almost 30 years. I love to teach first-timers as well as experienced painters who need a creative reboot. My work has been displayed in several galleries around the country, and I have a Bachelor’s in Art History, a Master’s in Art Education, and had my work in a show juried by Judy Chicago. The idea of getting more people painting makes me light up as I want to inspire more people to express their creative selves and tap into a place of joy and calm.