How to Hone Your Creative Skills

To be successful, you need to be an expert within your industry, remaining ahead of the competition at all times by honing your skills and generating work rather than waiting for it to come to you. In order to become an expert, you need to know your stuff so look for courses and qualifications that will help you move forward and learn new skills, reassuring customers that they have up-to-the-minute advice and/or the latest products.

If you're qualified, let people see that your qualifications and the letters after your name. Display your qualifications proudly on your wall, make sure there is a full CV available on your website and utlilise social media ton tell the world what you are achieving.

Whatever your creative practice, your skills need to be continually honed. We adapt processes and techniques to suit our genre and by doing, we learn. Keep practising and stay ahead of the game. Be aware of others who are in the same industry, note how others are working and strive to better them.

Technology is rapidly changing, stay on the ball, go with the flow and change. Adapt and change, your skills need to match customer needs.

In this post, I wanted to focus on honing specific skills for use in drawing and sketching:

The art of drawing which is of more real importance to the human race than that of writing…should be taught to every child just as writing is’. – John Ruskin 1819 – 1900

A group of art practitioners meet on Thursday mornings at Ponsonby Community Centre, in Auckland. There are painters, printmakers, ceramicists, interior decorators, architects, fashion designers , engineers, textile experts, engineers, textile experts and comic book producers. Some participants work as G.P’s and physiotherapists but all love the drawing practice. They all work at honing their drawing skills and apply them when sketching ideas, and making presentations in their everyday work and life.

Many of the life drawings are developed and interpreted in other mediums. Painters may incorporate their drawings into paintings and the same applies to print-making and ceramics - life drawing is the equivalent of a pianist or singer warming up by practicing scales.

This life drawing session is untutored and the participants share a model. The artists use a variety of mediums from graphite to pastels and ink and brush. The class runs from 9.30am to 12.30pm and the concentration and effort is palpable. At coffee break, wandering around, looking at everyone’s work is a stimulating experience.

There is a different model each week varying in age and stature. The model begins with six, one-minute action poses then moves onto five and ten minute poses. There are longer poses at the end of the session. The model can stand or sit on the platform, there is a mattress and pillows, or lounge in a chair or perch on a stool. The platform ensures that everyone can see the whole body.

Drawing has played a significant role in human development. Early cave dwellers’ images have given us insight into their hunting and gathering life style. Drawing predates the written language which in itself is a form of mark making. Drawing and mark making is at the root of all visual communication. Through this practice we are able to organise the world visually and to see and understand.

Develop drawing skills and use them to:

  • make images to convey ideas
  • understand the human figure
  • train the eye to see accurately
  • observe emotion and gesture
  • develop a personal visual language
  • generate spacial awareness

As humans it is only natural that depicting our form should play an important role as subject matter.

With serious figure drawing study non-figurative art will be stronger and have more substance. Knowing how the body works and operates in the space it occupies is vital for those who design and make furniture, clothing, houses, schools in fact everything that involves humans.

Be the best in your field. Be receptive to improvements and change, strive for the best and continually look for ways to do things better.


 
  Barbara Bailey CONTRIBUTOR

Barbara Bailey CONTRIBUTOR