3 ways to begin.
It’s usually a common sentence in the art, when beginners go “I know what I want to paint but I don’t know how to begin” but they do not understand the beauty in that irony. Few days ago Mark Zuckerberg was in Harvard to deliver the commencement speech and in it he talked about purpose and connecting the world to your big ideas. Then he revealed a secret that ideas don’t come fully formed, mot even Facebook.
“But let me tell you a secret: no one does when they begin. Ideas don’t come out fully formed. They only become clear as you work on them. You just have to get started.”
I remembered my first encounter with paintings. Overcoming an empty canvas is usually a problem to beginner painters, in fact even professionals. Same can be said about sculpture and other forms of art that you need to overcome spaces and voids.
I have interviewed many professional artist, and one thing most of the successful ones have in common is the “unknowingness” that strange thing that happens when you have an idea and you don’t know how to interpret it in your canvas. Here are some tips that would help you overcome the void
- The best way to start is to start.
In a painting, when faced with an empty canvas, a lot of people are shocked with how do I begin? question the blooms fear in the heart and freezes the creative will. To overcome this, listen to your heart and play by its rule. Freedom helps you get to a higher level of creativity by error or chance. Example, you want to paint a landscape, filled with lively trees and green life, and you got confused whether to paint the background first, the trees second, the foliage etc. or vice versa. Just start with anyone at all, trust me, as you continue, it would all fall in place. In fact starting with whatever you heart tells you would transform the work to something more energetic than what you expected. Keep repeating this word to yourself “the best way to start is to start- no one can create my ideas for me”
- Ignorance is bliss
Ignorance most times have turned bliss. Picasso once denied knowing what art is. “If I know what art is” he said, “I would rather keep it to myself”
Edgar Degas was like him, he mused:
“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do”
“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things”
The above quote is something I have observed from reality. Do not always calculate the outcome, for you would always fail. Let the outcome just be the outcome. Phillips Nzekwe is a Nigerian sculptor who started painting, and since he had practiced sculpture for more than 2 decades (paying less attention to painting, colour mixture, colour theory etc) could not consider painting. One day he woke up and started painting just like that, and the beauty lies in the way he plays by the rules of his heart. He confessed “I wish I could have the same freedom I have with paintings in my sculptures” simple just paint.
Yes. Very simple, just breathe. Nothing else.
Try this out and you would be surprised at the wonder you would create.