Throw Out The Rules

Inspire Yourself by Kathryn Sturges

Inspire Yourself by Kathryn Sturges

When I was a kid, I loved to draw! I always drew rainbows with clouds on the end…it was just my thing. Then I had a traumatic experience and wound up drawing a naked woman. My sister told on me and I was so embarrassed that I stopped art making, stopped drawing and coloring. Art was no longer for me.

After I came back to art in my thirties the first thing I did was just focus on technique. Watercolors were my go to paint and I was painting these lonely flowers. I couldn’t draw and didn’t know the first thing about art. In time I learned a lot of new skills, played with acrylics and collage. Bought every book I could get my hands on about art, and slowly began taking classes online. And art making started to have all these rules, like the work must be edgy or different, or the work must fit into a series. Or I should do what is popular but do it in my own way. And the rules kept piling on.

This year I have totally thrown those rules away! I did paint a lion and got a great response and encouragement to do a series. But I’m also enjoying just making whatever the hell I want in that moment. Creating a messy background to work on top of forms a sort of chaos and in time the work wants to become something more orderly. My art making has become fun again! It doesn’t feel so IMPORTANT like art with a capital A. It feels more free again, well, maybe for the first time.

If you feel stuck in a rut creatively, try to throw out your rules and get back to playing with your materials. And if there is a certain style you have always wanted to try but have been scared you weren’t good enough, now is the time to go down those roads. Take your art back from the inner critic and make something you enjoy!