7 Secrets To Finding Your Inner Artist

In Art Journaling by Laura Saxton

Finding your inner artist is not as difficult as you might think. Beauty is everywhere and everyone is drawn to something or by something. What colors or patterns do you really like? Are there pictures in a magazine or coloring book that inspire you? Do you write in a journal or planner that has a particular style? Knowing what everyday colors, pictures, or ephemera truly inspires you is all you need to get started making mixed media art. These seven simple secrets is all you need to unlock your inner artist.

1. Gather everything that inspires you and put it in a box.

When you are ready to start creating, grab your inspiration box and spread everything out in front of you. If you go to a craft store, before you start, grab a paper pad that you like or a few sheets of decorative paper. You might be surprised you are drawn to similar things or things that just “look good” together. Now, look around and take out anything that doesn’t seem to immediately fit and gather any art supplies you have on hand. Just a pencil and a pack of markers will work, or anything else you have worked with before. I say this because if you haven’t worked with it before, it may disrupt the creative flow and cause frustration. Experiment later when you have built your confidence a bit. Don’t forget scissors and tape runner or glue.

2. Inspiration can be found in just about anything.

You may not use everything in front of you, but the best creations happen organically as they are being created rather than what is planned. So you will want to have as much inspiration on hand to work with as possible. Something as obscure as a business card, scrap of paper with a unique texture, piece of material that is sentimental, magazine pictures or articles, old book pages, watch parts, old pictures, or anything in a keepsake box can be used to make a piece of art.

3. Remove anything that does not seem to work.

Look at all the things you collected. Do they seem to fit a theme? A color scheme? Is there something that relates or connects everything you have chosen? Now remove anything that is not working with the whole group.

4. Keep things loose and free.

When starting your mixed media project in a journal, planner, or just a piece of paper, keep everything loose until it absolutely needs to be glued down or secured. Any handwriting should be in pencil so it can be easily erased or altered. You may change your mind or decide something else works better by moving the pieces around until something “clicks” for you. Don’t put pressure on yourself. You are the only person who has ever done this type of art. There are no rights or wrongs and no one else to compare to.

5. Go beyond your comfort zone.

Are you a perfectionist? Just let go and add that one more thing that you think makes it look “out there” or too much. What does it look like now? Maybe add more? Break all the rules in your mind of staying in the lines or using only certain colors. Add that one strange thing you thought might not match and see what happens. You can always take it away! Then, add layers. Can you stamp that piece of paper? What happens when you mix that semi-clear paper with a solid color? Can write on that scrap or add a clipping or something typed or a sticker?

6. Edit and make it art.

Once you have everything in place before you glue down, it is time to edit. Walk away for a while and come back with fresh eyes. Does something stand out that seems to bother you? Does something just need to be moved or just exchanged with something else? When everything is where you would like it to be, glue it down, write on it, stamp it, and make it art!

7. Mistakes do not last forever.

Oops! Did you make a mistake? No worries. With mixed media art, you can always add something else, use a correction pen or white gel pen to cover writing mistakes, or put a sticker or washi tape over something. The art is never lost. It’s just…changing!

Finding your inner artist is not hard when you realize art is all around you already. Making any kind of art should be personal and inspiring to you! Your art will not be like anyone else’s and should make you feel drawn to it. Following these easy steps each time you create will help you begin to bring out your personal creativity and create confidently.