Make Brave Art
This month, for Grab 'em by the Imagination, I got the chance to work on a couple of beautiful Rialheim ceramic pieces. Ceramic glazing has been on my "gotta try it" list for ages, and I already have a few Rialheim pieces in my collection, so I was super excited. Working with ceramic glazes has its own challenge and limitations, and we all know how much I like to talk about that stuff, so let's dig in. Here's what ceramics will teach you about making art bravely.
1. Eliminate Ctrl-Z
Terrifying? Obvs. Refreshing? Definitely. Working directly in pen or paint is one of the best things you can do for yourself as an artist, because it forces you to just go with the flow and not agonize over the little details. Glazing ceramics is kind of the next step up. Once you apply an underglaze, it's very hard to remove - and unlike working on paper, you can't just throw it out and start again. All you can do is plan as best you can, and move forward even if things don't go your way.
2. Limitation = inspiration
Anyone who's ever drawn anything knows that blank sketchbook feeling - staring at an empty page, wanting to draw but forgetting every cool idea you've ever had. This is why challenges like Inktober are so popular: starting out with a prompt and a medium makes it so much less intimidating to get going. Likewise, if you're given a ceramic shape and just two colours to work with, half the work is already done. Applying limits to your work kills that blank page panic.
3. Let it breathe
When you're working on something great, the temptation is there to just power through and finish the work so you can sit back and bask in your genius. Heck, sometimes this is even the right way to go. Not so with ceramic work, though - it's a slow, contemplative process. If you feel your mind wandering or start to rush through the details, stop. Put it away. Work on it tomorrow. As a primarily digital artist this is especially relevant, because it's easy to get really buried in the work and lose sight of the plan. Just chill. Put it away.