Category: TreasuR Mtn Gallery

As DreamSculptr I am the creative director of Enroute Media Group, and a mixed media artist celebrating the irrepressible energy and sensitivity of the human spirit.  I also collaborate on whimsical escapades about creative reinvention, sharing dream propellers and a virtual gallery that reveals the noble beauty of creative change.
The Flickr photostream to the right of center showcases over 70 photos, comprising only a portion of the art pottery, watermedia paintings, drawings, fiber art, miniatures, and other things I make.  Just click on ‘more’ under the pictures to right.
After making a  successful reinvention of my own (an open-ended process, I’m afraid!) following an early out from 26 years in Human Resources and administration, I’m restoring my hands-on creativity much more productively than I could when all of my inner resources went into the workplace.  I hope you enjoy my evolving style!

Is there a certain kind of visual art you enjoy?  Do you have a hobby making your own collectibles or clothing from raw materials?  Or do you prefer to collect?  Many artists and artisans do both.  Regardless of your choice, there are a few guidelines that blend together in different disciplines.  Here are ten keys to creating a splendid piece of hand-wrought art:

1.  Good Design Principles    This is often the first, most noticeable quality of any given visual work of art.  The way the lines, structure, and colors flow together provides a first impression that gives your artwork a much closer look or sends the eye off to another location for much needed relief.  Just kidding, but when an artist takes the time to listen carefully to an intuitive flash, or pays attention to other works s/he admires, or peruses the internet in a search for instances of good design to integrate into a new work, the end result can be amazing.

2.  Quality Materials and Supplies    Gather and use the best materials at your disposal.  Some paints, for instance, have durability factors that render them faded after exposure to light or time. Some have transparency, opaqueness, or staining qualities and it won’t do to use one where another is better.  Pay attention to ratings and reviews and procure the best possible for your masterpiece.

3.  Excellent Workmanship stemming from specialized knowledge, training, and experience.  Regardless of how highly placed the level of your achievement, beauty and utility are in the eyes of the beholder.  A crack here or mishewn color there may give a piece character, depending on the process. For instance, in the case of art pottery, an alternative firing such as Raku, pit, and wood firing will produce special effects and unexpected results.  Some effects are better than others.  On a specialty art tray meant primarily for display, a few surface  cracks  produced around the edges by intensely high flames and ash can enhance the piece.  But in most cases, flaws are not well appreciated. Use those pieces in another way, and share only your best.

4.  Attention to Detail   (yes, like Disney) While it is alright in most cases to have a simplistic outline or a background that fades into the distance, somewhere in the design there must be detail to lead the eye and focus the message.  For many people, the more finely wrought the detail, the better.  And if you sell it, the price is higher.

5.  Proper Equipment    Brushes, paints, tools, computer, slide rule, microphone, scalpel, whatever produces the effect you want to achieve must be in good working order.  Expensive brushes that are now frayed will not produce a fine line unless they are restored with brush preservative and fixative.  Neither will a dull knife or a piano that is out of tune.  Hone the edges and tune the instruments for a finer effect.

6.  Authenticity    Be original, this is where the uniqueness that is you really shines.  Gather up all of the ideas you ever had about building something, whether that is a process, service, or goods.  Then combine and recombine the ideas until you have found a new slant on your product.  Storyboard or mindmap, if you like. It takes less time and material and provides better perspective.

7.  Love for creating things   This also includes a love for personal and professional ethics, and suspending any desire for destructiveness unless it is necessary to the creative process, like in obtaining bottle glass pieces for mosaics or ripping boards to construct a cabinet.

8.  Willingness to “rip it out and start over” if necessary.    If you were a knitter, this would be too familiar to bring into mention, because a stitch is often dropped every few rows.  It is a commonly accepted part of the knitting process.  If your process or expertise involves less reconstruction, count this as fortunate. But rip as needed!

9.  Find new inspiration and motivation from prompts, dreams, ‘artist dates’, visual journaling, mistakes, packs of cards, treasure hunt clues, friends, and other creative folks. Visit Inspiration Point today, wherever that is for you.  It may be as close as a child, your best buddy, the bookcase, a search engine, or the creative channel on television.

10.  Exploration and Experimentation!    Never get too busy to find time to explore the medium. Otherwise you may never know your full capability.  Working toward a vision on the horizon may keep you on the youthful cutting edge of your niche.

That’s the end of my top ten for now.  What would you say are the most important keys to unlocking a sigh of awe-struck admiration and an exclamation of “Precious!” whenever someone views a new artwork?

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