When most people think of an Art Studio. They often dream up a secluded place, building, cottage, or urban scene, surrounded by large canvas, paint brushes, pencils, great views, knickknacks, and more! An uninformed guess, but they do envision something.
Most Artists like me and other types of Creative People hold these visions as wishes, or someday realities. For example, "Someday I'll have my own studio space." "Someday I'll be able to make art when I find a space for it." "Someday! Someday! Someday!" While in reality the only thing that's stopping you is your someday. At this very moment you're probably thinking "Well I don't have time for art either." "It's not a priority," and that may be true for you right now. But let me tell you that having had so many losses of family members in the last 3 years. That all you have is now. So make the commitment now, because someday may never come.
It's imperative that you don't hold back anything you have from the world. Your talents, ambitions, and ideas matter! I've been doing this since grade school, and even though I have a studio space now. It never stopped me from making art before I had a space then. I started with what I had, and that's the best place to start. It's a needed reality check that Art can be made from anywhere, it has no boundaries.
What this means for you, is simple. You don't need a special someday place to make art. Your someday place can be made right here in your home, no matter how big or small it is. My someday place back then was the kitchen table, the living room floor, and even my bed while I was in Art School. Art doesn't need a special place to be special. It just needs a place or a spot to be born.
So no more excuses! Let your someday be NOW!
Download my free Workbook below, that'll walk you through the steps to creating your someday Artspace Now, and when you finish. Post a picture of your new space on Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #MySomeDayIsNow to motivate others by sharing what you've done! Or send me a picture at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can't wait to see the outcome!
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Brushes are the Rolls Royce of my Artist Studio! They can define who you are as a Artist, as well as cost a hefty penny. Some are made of mixtures of Animal Hairs, while others are made from synthetic bristles. I prefer the vegan option! Anyhow, our paintbrushes are investments to our imaginations. So better take good care of them. Right!
Here are some tips to extend the longevity of your paintbrushes!
1. Use cold water when cleaning your paintbrushes.
I learned this tip from my high school Art Teacher Mrs. Rust. She taught me that everyone says to use warm or hot water to clean your brushes, but when you do this, you slowly but surely melt the glue that holds together the bristles of your paintbrushes. So always use cold water to keep your bristles strong!
2. Wash your paintbrushes with a mild soap.
Avoiding harsh chemicals and soaps will help your brushes look and feel healthier, and less fuzzy, and not make the hairs stick out in different directions. Some soaps I like using are your everyday Liquid Dish Soap, The Master Brush Cleaner and Perserver, and Pink Soap.
3. Use hair conditioner to rescue brushes that have hardened.
In the past I've used a mixture of Hair Conditioner and water to soften hardened paintbrushes. I mix the two into a creamy mixture, and then rub it into the brush. Then I stick the brush in the remaining mixture and let it sit overnight. It works most of the time, but it may need more than one night.
4. Us the double dip method that oil painters use to clean your brushes.
Oil painters often use a little metal tray that they fill with the cleaner of their choice. Since I work in acrylics, I'll use this method while painting and cleaning my brushes. What you'll need to do is get two cups or jars of water. Use one jar to swish your dirty paintbrush in, and the use the other jar to swish it again. It's like a clean and rinse, but you don't want to rinse in the dirty water. What this does is get the sneaky paint that's left behind on your brushes.
6. After drying your brushes, store them facing up, not down.
I have to admit. I'm guilty of this one. Store your brushes facing up to prevent that smoochy look, that damages your brushes.
7. Always clean the space where the brush meets the silver part more than once, twice, three times.
The Ferrule is that metal thing on your paintbrush that connects it to the handle, and keeps a grip on the bristles. After you clean your brushes you'll want to check this area again. This area likes to store paint inside the ferrule, and hold onto it. What this means for you, is a hardened paintbrush! So be sure to check once, twice, and three times if you have too!
Andrew Loomis was an American Illustrator, Author, and Art Instructor way back in the 30s. He served in World War 1 and taught at the American Academy of Art, and provided Illustrations for many advertising agencies before opening his own studio in the Windy City of Chicago. He is well know among Illustrators for the legacy he left behind. These 6 Amazing Art Instruction Books, that help Artists not only understand the Fundamentals of Art, but understand the Aesthetics of Art, a set of principles concerned with the nature and appreciation of beauty.
I'd like to note that some of this books feature stereotyped images or ideas about women and people of color within some image examples and text. Mostly due to the times of the 1930s. But I encourage you to look beyond that, to unlock the treasure these books provide towards your creative growth as an Artist.
These books have guided me through what some call the hardest parts of Art. Perspective, Proportion, and The Movement of Figures. They also take some time to read, and some time to process. So make the time, and if you have any questions, or need help understanding, let me know in the comments. I'm happy to help.
Loomis books give Artists the chance to express their true vision, by showing them the way. They've been out of print for years, but are recently making a comeback to the Amazon Market. Some at collectable prices. But the good news is, that since they've been out of print for years. They've been available for download free of charge online, and now free of charge on this blog post. Just click the links below!
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Making Comics by Scott McCloud is a great resource for those who want to dig their heels into drawing! It's a great tool if you want to learn how to tell stories, create facial expressions, and learn the general landscape of building a picture within your artwork. Plus don't be scared that this is a comic drawing book about comics. This book seats well on any type Artists bookshelf and I believe it's essential for everyone!
Daily Painting by Carol Marine, is an awesome book for those beginnings or returning to the Arts after a long. Hiatus. She covers basic art tools and techniques and gives you a general grasp on the Art Making Process! This too is a must have for your Artist Bookshelf!
I knew I was down with The Watercolorist's Essential Notebook by Gordon MacKenzie when I saw that this book showed Artists how to stretch their watercolor paper. A skill I learned back in Art School that I rarely see in tutorials about watercolor painting. This book is a treasure of resources if you've ever wanted to try your hand at watercolor painting. Your sure to find everything you need to know right here in this book!