As cliché as it may sound, art has no rules; it can be found everywhere and is made for everyone. Although it may seem intimidating from an “outsider’s” perspective, art is mostly a free-for-all. You don’t have to be a skilled painter or seasoned sculptor to enjoy creativity. If you’re interested in art, but don’t know how to approach your curiosity, this article is for you.
Ask a lot of questions
A common misconception about the art world is that there’s a certain etiquette or standard to achieve before you can engage with it. While this may be true in very specific (and probably elitist) contexts, appreciating art is a life-long learning experience. As an art lover myself, there is so much I don’t know, things I haven’t seen, and artists that I’m unfamiliar with. The key is to remain open and curious with every artistic encounter.
For example, if you’re trying to understand the meaning of a certain art piece, ask for help. If you’re at a gallery, ask an attendant what they know about it. If the artist is responsive and available, send them a message. Try watching a Youtube video, find a book, or search up a quick article to inform yourself (i.e. How to Read a Painting). Art is made to spark conversation and interest, so it’s normal for you to have many questions.
Notice your thoughts
The easiest way to appreciate art is to be aware of your experiences. Once you start to take notice of your thoughts and reactions, then you can really begin to embrace art. Art is all around us, often going unnoticed. If you can find it in the little things, you’ll be amazed at how much space it takes up in your daily life.
Let’s say you’re watching your favorite movie. Normally, most people will watch for entertainment purposes without realizing they’re staring at a piece of artwork. As you watch, recognize the questions and feelings you have. How do the colors make you feel? What kind of editing did the filmmaker include? What are the characters wearing? These aspects are often woven together to give the audience a specific experience. This moment of reflection can turn any object, book, movie, or song into a masterpiece. Once you open your mind to this kind of thinking, you’ll see the world in a very different way!
Find your style
Artists often merge different concepts into their creations. It’s very easy to find art styles and niches that are inspired by traditionally “non-artistic ideas”. For instance, if you like cars, you may feel like art is not for you. Au contraire; why not merge the two? Look out for artists who draw car sketches, modify and paint cars, do car installation pieces, etc. Are you interested in science and technology? Why not find an artist who explores or comments on AI and robotics? Artists are always in tune with the latest cultural advancements and social trends. Identify your interests and find out their take on it!
Join an art community
Artists and art lovers everywhere are always looking for new ways to connect with one another. Not only is this good for the business side of things, but also for the sake of enjoyment. Platforms such as Bidgala prioritize making new connections. This is not to be confused with art collectives (groups of artists who work together). Look out for online or in-person art clubs; you can easily sign up for one if you’re in school or check out your local art centre.
If you don’t want to commit to an organized club, don’t worry! Many neighborhoods have designated art spaces for exhibitions and workshops. Grab a willing friend and stop by at an event. There, you’ll find a whole array of people looking to make friends and casually talk about art. The more you explore, the more you’ll encounter, and the more you’ll learn!