3 Tips for Keeping Your Artwork Fresh

Because Stale Doesn’t Appeal to Anybody

Keeping your artwork fresh is a challenge for a lot of artists. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut where you’re just busy drawing, painting, sculpting, etc. day after day, month after month, year after year. You do things the way you do them and that’s all there is to it. But stale work is boring for you and for your audience. So how does one go about keeping their work fresh and feeling new? I’ve got three tips for you…

1. Don’t stop learning!

I don’t care how good you get, you’ll never learn all there is to know about what you do. And…your way isn’t the only way to achieve fantastic results. Learn from other artists that you look up to. Most have their own YouTube channels and social media accounts. Watch their how-to videos and scrutinize the work they post. Try to identify what they’re doing differently than you and see if you can incorporate it into your own work. You might achieve fantastic results or methods that cut down your work time considerably. I usually let my art heroes’ YouTube how-to videos play while I’m working on my own stuff. I can’t tell you how many tips and tricks I’ve picked up, from recommendations on art supplies as well as methods, tips, and tricks for certain effects. Give it a shot!

2. Learn from more than one source.

I don’t know about you, but I have more than one art hero and none of them have the same style. In fact a lot of them don’t even work in the same medium or genre that I do. If you’re new to my blog then you might not know that I do graphite animal portraits. It’s black and white and two-dimensional, but I can still learn a lot from some of my favorite sculptors! Three dimensional artists have to deal with the basics like line, shape, and balance too. Digital art, painting, etc. all has an impact on my mind. I watch each artist’s process (and they’re all different). Some of it works for me, some doesn’t. But I wouldn’t know unless I tried it for myself. And learning from more than one source, keeps your own art unique. If you emulated only one artist, your work could very easily start looking like a knockoff of their work. And you want to be known for your own style, not anyone else’s, right? Taking tips from multiple influences really helps in keeping your artwork fresh and evolving in a way that is uniquely yours.

3. Let loose once in a while and have fun!

Some artists, myself included, can get in a routine where they’re holed up in their studios every waking moment, doing exactly the same thing. We emerge every now and then like a bear coming out of hibernation, blinking in the bright sunlight and wondering what year it is. It is just as important to have fun with your art to prevent you from becoming bored, or worse yet, burning out. Grab a sketchbook and go to a museum or the zoo. Take a small travel paint set to the park and set up shop for a while. Join an art challenge like Inktober (which will be here again before you know it!) or come up with one of your own. Make it a point of meeting with another art friend (or friends) for a coffee and sketching hour. The point of this tip is to do something out of your norm, have fun with art, and breathe some life back into what you love doing!

So, to wrap things up…

If you find yourself stuck in a rut and your art has become rather stale, give these tips a try. Keeping your artwork fresh doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money. In fact, these three tips don’t require you to buy any new supplies at all! To recap…

  • Don’t stop learning…you’ll never know all there is to know about art.
  • Learn from more than one source to avoid looking like a copycat and to introduce new elements into your own work.
  • And have some fun with your art!

Incorporating these tips is absolutely free, they certainly can’t hurt, and the bonus? Your work will never have an expiration date!

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Freelance copywriter who is passionate about art and fitness. Check out my art blog at mnatiodesigns.com/blog/ or follow me @mnaito_fineart .