Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Briana Elizabeth Taylor (both of us)

Ok, so this is cool. The other day I got an email from an admirer and fellow art lover. Her name is also Briana Elizabeth Taylor. Super cool. So naturally I love her. She is 14 and asked me to share how I make my art. As I wrote out my response, I decided that y'all might enjoy it too. So here ya go. If there is anyone out there reading my ramblings however distracted and random they may be.

without further ado...

Hello Briana Elizabeth Taylor!
I am very happy to meet you! How exciting that we share the same name and love of art. Very exciting. Thanks for writing me and asking about my artistic endeavors.

 I was always interested in art growing up but didn't really find that I love painting until I was in college. If you have discovered that you love drawing already, that's great! As I was developing my style I was torn between painting based off of photographs or "real life" and coming up with crazy designs in my head. I guess my advice would be to draw everything you can, as much as you can. Try drawing people, animals, plants, still lifes, landscapes...everything and all of it. Draw from your head too. Try starting with what you see then branching out and "exploring". The more you do the more you will realize what you like or are good at and what you don't like.

 I like drawing and painting plants and flowers and organic things because I don't like to be exact and perfect I feel like there is more freedom in organic subject matter to express myself. But it took me a  while to discover that. Then, once I discovered I liked painting plants, i googled every kind of flower and tree and plant i could think of and spent a lot of time drawing thumbnails (small sketches) of everything, which helped me again narrow what I liked and didn't like. Some things came really naturally to me and others seemed hard...so i just kept exploring until I found what I most enjoyed and was good at. And then...I started changing them...what if there was an extra flower here, or what if I crop it like this...and that's how I made the sketches mine. So maybe I had one photograph I liked, then I did maybe 25 thumbnails of different angles, different perspectives, zoomed it, zoomed out, things added, things taken away etc etc until I have a couple favorite sketches...which I then turn into paintings. There's a lot more in terms of color choices and all that too but that's the gist of it. Helpful? Maybe? Hope so.

Well meaning people will tell you it's all great, and they may be great, but if you aren't excited about it then don't do it. That's my advice. Follow your artistic gut. Sometimes it will tell you stupid things but try it and even if you don't love it at least you've ruled it out and hopefully learned from it. Also look at art. Lots of art and all kinds. That way you train your eye to know what is good and also what you like. I personally LOVE Pinterest. I can search types of art, types of subject matter and basically just get inspired. My pinterest board is http://www.pinterest.com/brianaelizabeth/  which may or may not be interesting.

Hope this was helpful. Feel free to send more questions. I like having a pen pal namesake. It's cool.