Passion, Determination and Observation

Passion, Determination and Observation

A lot of people come up to me when creating my portraits and tell me 'I could never do that'. It is a common response to seeing something beyond your initial scope to deem it as impossible, an unobtainable goal.

However I turn to them, smile and inform them that while I respect their opinion, I find it flawed in a number of ways. After all if someone like me can learn how to create these pieces of art then why not them?

I think the general belief is that artistry is bred from some inherent genetical advantage given at birth, that you must be gifted. But like most things in life, art is a skill and skills can be learnt and mastered given the proper time and commitment. Indeed, as the title of this blog post states, I think you need three things to become and artist. Passion, dedication and observation.

Passion is what drives us to do activities and involve ourselves in something to begin with. You have to have a reason for doing something and a drive to see it birth into something truly special. Artistry is an expression of the individual, and you have to be willing to open yourself up to that aspect.

Art gave me a purpose in life, where before there was none. I wake up in the mornings and think about the ways I could evolve my portraits or the next thing I could draw and paint. It excites me to know I will be travelling another step along this creative journey.

Determination comes in when you hit the inevitable wall of despair. Life has a habit of throwing curve balls and burying us in doom and gloom. Invariably we as humans tend to focus on the negatives and immerse ourselves in the inner darkness. In art this tends to come about when a piece of art doesn't quite go the way we planned, or mistakes are made.

Art is a journey and all journeys are made up of small steps, large steps and more importantly stumbles. To truly learn how to get better at something you must fail at it. That is not to say seek failure, but instead embrace it when it finally arrives. Only through failure can we truly appreciate what it means for us to succeed and also to learn what to do to avoid this failure in the future. Being determined and pushing through these obstacles and wanting to jump more hurdles is a core tenet of becoming an artist.

Observation seems like an obvious thing, but in reality it is rarer than you think. I like to say most people 'look' but they do not 'see'. It is very easy to turn your head, point your eyes and peruse the item in front of you, but to truly understand its construction and being you need to take time to truly see it.

A lot of people describe things in absolutes. As an example people would claim a snowy owl is white with yellow eyes but in actuality there is no black and white in nature and those perceived colours are a mixture from a much more varied palette. To me I see blues, golds, greens, pinks and many more beside in the feathers of that beatific bird. These subtle colours and their collaboration is what truly inspires me to create.

Once you take time to truly see something, you can start to recreate it through imagination, inspiration and of course artistic medium.

I do not believe art is for the genetically privileged, creativity is open to all willing to embrace it and take that leap of faith into the unknown pool of a thousand colours. Immerse yourself in its kaleidoscopic currents, open your mind to the possibilities and you may find yourself sitting in my position, smiling at others claiming that 'I could never do that'.