Express Your Inner Artist: 5 Different Mediums to Explore

This post comes from our blog intern, Aubrie!

If our eyes are the windows to our soul, then I think the visuals that our eyes capture enlighten our souls in some way. Each and every person has the ability to tap into their own sense of creativity, when we do this, it allows us to express the thoughts, emotions, dreams and wishes that can’t really be represented in words. Through the years, I’ve discovered that I feel my best when I’m able to actively express these thoughts and feelings through visual art. Although I think my heart always knew this, my mind held back my creativity for some time. I always thought that, to be considered an artist, or even to consider yourself an artist, you had to have some sort of accreditation… some type of affirmation that people admired your work. I’ve slowly realized through making my own art that that is absolutely not the case.

Art comes from within. The best works aren’t intentionally made for others, but to express the artist’s own vision. Once I began to tap more into my own creativity and worry less about if it was any good or not, I began to find inspiration everywhere. I had knocked down a barrier and was able to express myself so much more freely. I started taking the time to sit down for a few hours and sketch. No not for class, not to post on Instagram, but just for myself. The point was, it really didn’t matter if someone thought it looked absolutely horrendous, because the feeling that came along after was that of pure accomplishment. The act of taking different mediums and interpreting them on paper worked like a good yoga class for me: allowing my imagination to run wild in turn helped to calm my racing mind.

Pablo Picasso explained this concept perfectly by stating “art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” He emphasizes a good point here, even though we all will most likely never achieve the same artistic fame as Pablo Picasso, we can achieve the same feeling he had when he took a paintbrush to canvas. But it’s not just painting, there are so many different mediums of art that can be shaped into whatever your heart desires. Maybe it’s using collage as a lighthearted hobby or perhaps it’s indulging in sketching as a form of mental therapy, but whatever the reason, there’s beauty to be discovered.

Try out these five mediums that I’ve grown to love and have helped me to explore self-expression through visual art:

Watercolor

Watercolor

Painting always seemed very formal and structured in my mind. Certainly people studied for years and years before learning all the techniques needed to paint something beautiful. But actually, I learned how to paint by simply admiring other’s paintings. Scrolling through the internet or even walking down to the museum, I looked deep into how and what made the paintings so appealing. Watercolor is by far my favorite medium of paint and we all love to use it in images here on the blog! Fluid and delicate, strokes of watercolor magically create beautiful stains across crisp white pages. When I have watercolors out at my desk, they transform the whole area into a beautiful mess of colors. Experiment with mixing and diluting a rainbow of  hues for a wide range of possibilities.

lettering

Hand Lettering

The Free People graphic desig team have mastered the art of hand lettering like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Something about hand crafted words stringing together poetic quotes or sentences brings a romantic feeling to mind. After many years admiring this traditional graphic design work, I recently tried my hand at the pen and paper form of typography. In this day and age it may be even hard for many people to remember how often they really hand write anything out. Computers have taken the place of notebooks and typing has taken over the art of lettering. It’s amazing how creative you can get by taking a step away from technology.

sketch

Sketching

I’ve been taking design class for 4 years now, ever since I discovered my love of expressing myself creatively. I can’t tell you how many times my professors have explained the importance of a sketchbook to the class. I have to admit, in this case the teachers were very right, sketching is where so many ideas originate from. Designs, paintings, and installations probably all started from a sketch of some sort. I feel as though the process of sketching is often like a metamorphosis. It’s an opportunity to hash out your ideas over and over again until they becomes exactly what you intended.

collage

Collage

I remember lusting over fashion magazines as a thirteen year old. I would rapidly flip through pages, tearing out the ones that immediately caught my eye. Once a pile had formed I would paste the pieces in layered collages and hang the many works of art from my bedroom walls. It was imagery recreated to be something of my own and there the hobby formed. I don’t think I’ve had a living space since without at least one of my original collages hung on the wall. Now I love to read travel, surfing, photography, and nature magazines and pull tears to create collages of visions that I have for my future. Collages are one of the most motivational forms of art that I’ve discovered.

pastel

Oil Pastel

Vibrant colors smudge onto the paper, smearing together to create a tie-dye effect. The unique colors that oil pastels create is like no other medium I’ve tried. They’re soft and supple and I love to create landscape drawings with them because of way the blue dissolves into pinks and oranges… sunsets were definitely meant to be portrayed through pastels. Getting your hands dirty is the perfect opportunity to discover how grounding this medium can be.

paintbrush

Bindi Bangle Set, Grateful Dead Ring

+ What is your favorite medium to express yourself creatively?

More inspiration from the BLDG 25 Blog.

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Comments

  1. I love photography and writing. I still struggle with “judging” my creativity, but I’m getting better and better at allowing myself simply to create. One book that has been extremely helpful to me is “The Artist Way” by Julie Cameron, I highly recommend it! Thank you for your wonderful article and the reminder that everyone is an artist, you don’t need a credential to be one!

    The Weaver Of Words….give me 15 words and I’ll tell you a tale…
    http://www.averyfairytale.wordpress.com

  2. I have been dying to get my hands dirty and get into expressing my artistic side with these mediums, especially watercolor and oils. I’m a writer, but sometimes I just want to paint my words and emotions with colors.

    This is a brilliant post, Aubrie! Thanks for sharing. :)

  3. Wonderful post! I love the collage idea as I’ve been doing so for a long time but yours looks so amazing! Would you be willing to do a post on collaging?

  4. I love painting with acrylics. I haven’t painted with oil pastels or water colors since high school. In high school, I also carried around a drawing pad and filled it with people’s faces lol. I really want to get back into that.

  5. I loved this post! I’ve definitely been trying to find ways to express myself creatively, and a sketch book has been very helpful. It’s good to have something that you can just carry around and pull out of your bag whenever you feel inspired.

    -Helen
    http://www.sweethelengrace.com

  6. Eeeeeeeeee I love this! Ok, my favorite medium is watercolor. Though I have tried acrylic and oil a few times, but I really don’t enjoy using them as much as watercolor. I have been looking more into mixed media art work recently. :)

  7. I really want to try the lettering!! I think it looks so cool and is such great inspiration! Will definitely be trying my hand at that this evening. I’ve always loved making collage/moodboards though. I think they’re really great for motivation!
    Lovely tips!
    thelifeofastudenttraveller.blogspot.co.uk

  8. This is a great post. If you’re looking for ways to trial new artistic techniques, check out the “Get Messy Art Journal” community. It’s relaunching next week and it’s an amazingly supportive community, using art journalling prompts every week. It’s a brilliant way to expose yourself to new mediums. Xx

  9. Nice post! I am a designer but must admit collaging is something I haven’t done much of.. but has always intrigued me, maybe this’ll be the year I start!
    PS. I could be wrong but for “oil Pastels’ it looks like you’ve used a picture of chalk pastels…

  10. Your post is very motivating & helps to instill confidence in those people (like me!) who have absolutely no confidence when it comes to artistic expression. Thanks…love to see more like this!

  11. I don’t really have a favorite medium, but I guess I’d say I mostly do mixed-media art; I create in many different mediums, depending on my mood- watercolor and acrylic painting, pencil & ink drawing, collage, and sewing and fiber arts.

  12. L love t know how to save pastels for my drawings and more if yous have anything for free that would to so so cool l live on a low income thats way l am asking if that’s OK from yous sign brenda breunig from Fergus,ontario Canada ,Ontario postal code is N1M1P1k

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