If you’ve been following this website for a while, you will know that I have been on what seems like a lifetime visual art and craft journey, and a long process of finding my visual art and craft niche. The journey continues – yet my niche has never been clearer.
For years I have wanted to be a visual artist. For whatever reason, I couldn’t achieve it. I couldn’t call myself a visual artist. Nor could I decide on what medium I would use.
I couldn’t call myself an artist because I didn’t have the skills. Nor did I have the education to support it. I just had an over-riding need to create. Over the years, that creation has ranged from a number of arts and crafts – such as painting, sewing, baking, or even gardening.
The very name of this website relates to my favourite mediums of art, knitting, and sewing. Yet – I could not seem to define which of them I wanted to pursue.
So I conducted my art and craft supply audit. From this I found a clear understanding of what I wanted to pursue creatively. It didn’t mean I liked any of the mediums less – it just meant that I had to be practical and take into consideration my available resources – time, energy, finances, and space.
I found that art was what I wanted to pursue. Creating art was my ‘happy place’.
Getting a visual art education…
I wanted to have the relevant visual arts education behind me. How could I call myself a visual artist if I didn’t know about visual art? What did I need to learn to have the courage to believe that I could be a visual artist?
There was one thing that I had to do… enrol in art school.
So I did. You can read about my first year at art school.
Niching down on my visual art and craft journey…
Through the process of art school and getting a visual art education, we are exposed to a range of mediums and visual art styles. As such, we get a clearer understanding of our art styles.
I learnt a lot about my art style, and also reconfirmed my art preferences. These being, that I like:
- 2 dimensional artwork;
- coloured drawing mediums, such as ink, pencil, and pastel;
- expressive linework;
- perspective in composition; and
- figurative subjects.
So while I can undertake a range of visual art mediums (such as painting, digital artwork, printmaking and sculpture) they don’t take me to my ‘happy place’. Just as I can knit and sew, they also don’t take me there either. My ‘happy place’ is doing free flowing expressive figurative coloured drawing.
Why am I not surprised?
It was already there…
You see, I have taken drawing classes previously. I had already learnt from those classes what I liked and didn’t like. For example, I found the exactness required in botanical drawing difficult, but loved the expressiveness of large-scale charcoal drawings.
It was there in the 1980’s when I started using coloured pencils. Why has it taken me so long to see it?
There it was – black and white. Positive and negative. Opposites. Tight and loose. Like and don’t like.
Now I see it, and I thank my visual arts education for showing it to me.
So there you have it. This is the stage I am at in finding my art niche on my visual art and craft journey.
Yet – I still like other mediums. While they don’t take me to my ‘happy place’. I think they could work with my art style in mixed media. This is an area that would be great to explore and find more about. Stay tuned!
Now in my second year of art school, I am being encouraged to take that step.
Yes… THAT step!
The door is opening… I don’t know what’s behind it. I’m moving deeper into the cave… It’s dark and frightening… It would be safer to turn back – but I know I have to keep going…
Yes. It’s scary. After years of wishing it – I am finally at a pivotal point of my visual art and craft journey. I am beginning my life as a professional visual artist.
After 40 plus years, this step fills me with dread. I have butterflies in my stomach. It churns now as I write these words.
But I am strong. I can do this.
A visual artist observes and shows their interpretation in their artwork. This may be confronting – for both the artist and the viewer. However, it is a process that hopefully leads to greater understanding.
It means that as visual artists, we present our view to the world. In a way, we show our vulnerability.
This is another scary part of my visual art and craft journey.
I am an emerging visual artist! Yes! I’ve said it!
It’s still scary. My stomach is still churning.
Yet I am opening the door. I am moving further into the cave. I am getting professional.
How can this help you on your visual art and craft journey?
Can you see yourself in this story? Is your art and craft journey similar to mine?
While I have taken formal visual art education, my art likes and dislikes have been present for some time. I just didn’t see them. However, undertaking lots of visual arts during my studies over the last couple of years helped solidify my interests.
Take another look at your art and craft supplies. What do you have more of than anything else? If you haven’t already done so, conduct an arts and crafts supplies audit. See what you like now, and what you like to pursue. You may be surprised. You might just see what you’re looking for right in front of you.