6 Things I’m doing That Other Artists Aren’t

I’m not really your average artist. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at what other artists do and trying out some of the “rules” for artists. What I’ve discovered is that I really hate doing some of the golden rules many successful artists follow.

I kept trying to follow the “rules” but it just made me dislike art and lose passion for it so I’ve decided to ignore certain things that other artists do and just do what makes me happy.

And I’ve decided to not get upset about it. No matter what anyone says.

1. I paint the edges of my canvas.

This appears to be a no no in art land. You’re supposed to paint them white, or black or something else as it makes everything look nicer during exhibitions. I’ve tried doing that and absolutely hate how I can’t get a nice white line around my canvas. I’ve read articles about it, followed Youtube tutorials but alas, I give up. I like it best when I paint the edges as if they were part of the painting.

Lots of artists do paint the edges of their paintings but the prevailing trend appears to be edges painted differently to the painting.

Painted edges make me happy.

2. I don’t sign the front of my paintings.

This is apparently the worst thing I could be doing. It’s going to drive down my value as an artist and make is super easy for forgers to recreate my work.

I don’t care. I’ve tried signing the front of my work and really hate how it ruins the whole thing. I do know of a couple of artists who only sign the backs of their work and it seems to be working just fine for them, so I’ve stopped feeling bad about this and continued signing the back only.

No artists signature on this finished piece.

3. I don’t paint every day

I’ve got a full time job, two kids and a house I’m currently renovating so painting every day is virtually impossible for me. I have started journaling everyday in the hopes it will help me relax and clear my mind at the end of a busy day.

While I’d love to paint every day and I can’t imagine how much work I’d produce and how much I’d be improving, I’ve come to accept that picking up a paint brush every day is not going to happen for quite some time.

4. I don’t do preliminary sketches

Even for my still life paintings. I just think about how I want it to look and start painting. Sometimes I’ll get on Photoshop to try out an idea or open my drawing pad to sketch out an idea but most of the time I can see it in my mind and will go off how it looks that way.

Perhaps my visual brain is more advanced but I find I can re position things in my head, try out different colours and add extra features just by thinking about what I’m going to draw.

5. I have different styles I like to do

Successful artists seem to pick a style that works for them and stick to it, for years and years. I honestly could not live like that. My style changes at breakneck speed, and I flit from one style to the next, often working on different styles at once.

I’m currently focusing on three different style of art; abstract art that has a really “cloud” like appearance, charcoal on canvas drawings of children’s toys and surreal/fantasy art. None of them seem to fit in with the others but I like being able to move from one style to the next depending on my feelings at the time.

One of my charcoal on canvas drawings “Iron Man”

6. I keep art for myself.

There’s art in my house I’d be happy to sell but it’s hanging up on my walls and I haven’t put it up online to be sold. Not because I hate it but because I’ve just decided to keep it.

Some art, like my charcoal drawing of a Minecraft Creeper is not for sale as the frame is a bit out of whack and I didn’t notice until it was too late. One day I’ll have to take it off the frame and fix it, but until then it sits in my office brightening up my day.

My Creeper drawing that may never see the outside world.

So these are the rules I break constantly in my art. I honestly have tried following the rules correctly and doing what “real” artists do but it just kills my passion for art and I figure rules broken but art produced is better than rules followed and art not made.