Do artists really know what they are doing? : Breaking the stereotype

Many viewers and even creators beginning on their journey believe that artists know what they are doing all the time. Just make a plan, and execute it. Sure, for some artists, this might be true, but for most, it is not as clear cut as that.

Why does this matter? Why am I telling you this? Because if you attempt something and are not able to stick to your initial plan fully, you think you have failed. You think you are not gifted and not talented. You want to give up before you have even begun. Yep, that was what I thought too when I first started my creative journey. But that is not true. Not true at all.

Even today, when I am about to start a new creation, I know that it might not work. Maybe the color blending goes wrong, or the pattern just doesn’t stand out. Maybe the material is not the right choice for that kind of intricacy. But that doesn’t discourage me, I am prepared for that. And you know what, if it doesn’t work, it is totally ok. Because for me, every work is less about success, and more about exploration.

For me, the process is an initial framework in mind, sort of like a rough draft, a vision. I know the feeling I want to evoke, and I start with that in mind. Whether it remains that way or not, I can’t guarantee. The process is messy, time consuming and sometimes takes you more back than forward.

When does the idea really click, the plan really fall into place? When the work speaks to you. Initially, it is just a pen and paper or a brush, paint and canvas, doing something vague. Then, as time passes, there is a certain point that it comes alive, like you are having a conversation with a friend. Like you are brainstorming, throwing ideas back and forth with your painting. At that point, you can choose to listen to your drawing. That moment where you have that gut feeling, that “I love that” even before your creation is finished.

So do artists always stick to their plans, point to point? No. But does that mean they failed? No. It means they chose to walk their own path, and discover themselves and their works through the process.

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