Make Art Today

So today we are talking about making art today: how might we do this and why might we do this?

It's really important to practice, to try new things in our creative practice.

If you're a writer, maybe it's time to pick up a pencil and sketch or draw. Maybe it's time to take some very intentional photographs.

Whatever your medium is, practicing and exploring other mediums is key to learning more about yourself, the themes that matter to you and the ways you like to explore those themes.

So let's have a quick look at this handy zine I've made to step us through, making art today, and how we might go about doing that.

Step 1: Pick up some art making tools grab, grab what you need to grab

This is the first place we might fall down because if you're like me, it's “Oh, but I need a new notebook to start writing my epic poetry anthology” or "Oh the camera on my phone maybe isn't good enough” or “I'd like to shoot analog” or “actually I’d like to try watercolor, I should go and buy some water colors”... Not today!

Let's put this limitation in: pick up some tools, using what you have. 

Limitations are really, really useful for making us more creative, forcing us to problem solve, and find new, interesting ways of doing things. 

So: you have chosen your weapons for creating something today, the weapons against the vacuum of art.

Step 2: Make a mark

This is where we begin. We begin to do stuff.

I love the concept of mark making. Traditionally, it's from an illustration perspective, a place of making a mark on the paper to begin to depict something, or someone. What I like about the idea of mark making is it's very loose. It's not saying you're gonna start something and you're gonna finish it, and it's gonna be damn perfect, no you're just gonna make some marks using the tools that you've chosen.

Take photo. But an intentional one. Choose what mark you're capturing with the lense, if you will.

Right some words down, make your mark by capturing something using language.

Step 3: Go with the flow

Be in the moment, you’ve started to capture something, you’ve started to record something. Explore whatever is coming through your mind, whatever space you're in, wherever the inspiration is coming from, and try to embrace it.

Allow yourself to just go with it and try to keep your inner critic at bay.

Now is not the time to say to yourself: “That's shit.”

Because actually, the first time you do this, might be a bit rubbish.

This zine here is no fine piece of...

I don't even know what to call it... 

It's all raggedy. It's torn from a notebook, my handwriting is all scrawly, I used a really cheap red pen, but it's still a thing that did not exist before.

Now, it does. 

And the next time I make a zine I might choose to approach it differently and I would have grown.

And that's really what we're getting at here.

So allow yourself to go with the flow, be in the moment.

Step 4: Regal in the glory of your art.

You've made something that didn't exist before!

You have explored something with intention when otherwise, you might have just sat scrolling on your phone, the old dopamine scroll as Marlee Grace calls it and just feel pleased you've done this.

You have taken the time to make some work.

Step 5: Sharing is caring, be generous with the work that you've made

Be generous with your practice, the more you share your learning and your progress, the more you will progress.

The cycle will feed itself.

It's hard to share what you're doing, especially when it's not “done” but it’s important to recognise chasing done can be very limiting, and I'm not talking about the good limitations making us more creative.

It can limit our ability to get our work out there, out of our immediate sphere and into the world to be experienced by others.

Whether they're people you know or strangers, whether it's online or in the world, really try and share what your experiment, share it, because also I wanna see it, I would really love that.

And finally, step six, because it's a six-page zine: "hydrate!” drink some water, while, you congratulate yourself on having made something and shared it with the world.

Let me know how you get on. Can't wait to see what you do!

Katherine Maxwell