Why Intuitive Art Works (for me)

February 3rd, 2021
Why Intuitive Art Works for me

After years of freaking out about concepts, I've decided I like this. Here's an example of something I made entirely intuitively.

When I was doing my printmaking in university, I cringe when I remember how much I would over plan and overstress things, especially before I really found my groove with the media. Since everything seemed so ***permanent**, I figured I could save myself some wasted paper and money by being extra careful and meticulous: something that, if you know me, kind of goes against my nature as a person, unfortunately.

However, it was a while before I figured out that I didn’t have to be so stiff with myself, and could approach printmaking in a much more loose, and dare I say, improv-ish way, and that felt SO much better. I really miss printmaking, but I know when I go back to it I’ll likely be doing the same kind of thing, and making that discovery back in 2019 was what I think opened the door to my very intuitive approach to painting.

To be clear, when I think of making art intuitively, I think of just starting with a blank thing and letting your mind lead the way. No plan or pre-completed sketches, or maybe just a few. Instead, it’s more of asking yourself what you want to start with, laying down the first couple brush strokes, and then playing around with colors and other elements from there. Before you know it, you’ve ended up with something that might look radically different from what you had in mind when you started, and you might even hate it. But, in my case, I feel much better, almost like a weight has been taken off my shoulders, and things that were stressing me out or unwelcome in my head seem to be much quieter.

I never really start out with a sketch or anything these days, and I really like it. I largely prefer to plan nothing, and I find that it almost feels therapeutic in the way it helps me release my emotions. Making art this way is also leading to finished products I never thought I could make, and it’s helping to keep my practice fresh and interesting.

That’s all I’ve got! If this sounds interesting to you, I recommend it. :)