What I learned from My Art by Bev Baird
Trying to find my own inspiration for this post was a challenge. What could I offer that has not been said?
Then I remembered an article I just read by Susan Spann – “Writing Lessons From a Baby Seahorse.” (http://writersinthestormblog.com/2015/01/writing-lessons-from-a-baby-seahorse/)
I realized that my art had a few lessons for my writing.
- Have fun with new techniques or media.
There is nothing I like more than to go to my art room and play with paints and just explore, with no agenda and no project in mind. Just as children enjoy the process, so do I. I may end up using some of my papers or other work, but that is not the goal.
When I allow myself to just write, whether it is morning papers or a scene that I envision, I am in the moment and I just write, with no expectations. Sometimes, I can use a bit of the writing, but other times, it acts as a catalyst for my other projects.
- Stretch yourself by trying new things.
I love watercolour but until I took a course I was afraid to try it. Now it is a favourite technique, even though I am still learning.
Same as with writing, I took a non-fiction picture book writing course and though I doubted my ability, I polished a book I am proud of and through that course, attended a retreat and made many connections.
- Seek out classes, mentors, competitions.
As with number 2, finding courses or mentors, submitting to contests, really helps push our writing (or art) forward.
- Keep practising.
Keeping an art journal and taking part in weekly art challenges has kept me creating art almost daily.
It is the same for writing – we need to write consistently and often. When I fail to do this, I know my writing suffers. The number one piece of advice from authors is “WRITE DAILY!”
As Stephen King said: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
- Display your work. Give it away. Share.
I have several pieces of my art displayed in my home and am reminded of the effort it took to create it and what I learned when I look at them. I have also made gifts to give and know they are appreciated.
Your writing too, can be sent out – to critique partners, to other’s blogs, to contests, to agents and editors. Get it out, get feedback and keep writing.
My art has also been an inspiration for my writing at times. I was having to add another chapter to a book I had written and needed a centrepiece for the chapter. An ATC (art trading card) I had received, inspired an artpiece that I created and then used as a gift to the heroine in the story. It helped move the story forward and was fun to create.
You never know where inspiration will strike.. Be on the look out. It might just be in front of you.