The value is in the creating

The Sparkle Experiment small creative play equals connection

Art you make today is not only the foundation on which you build confidence and develop as an artist. It’s also potential inspiration for future art. Don’t underestimate the power of a curve of a line, a tiny pattern or smallest detail within a piece of art that could be a starting point tomorrow, next week or month.

Peter Parr in Zen of Drawing talks how work created today, not matter how small, has value: “A sketch should be kept, as it will almost certainly be used sooner or later, no matter how slight it may seem at the time. Its primary value to you was its creation – an immeasurable benefit to your wellbeing.” The value is you made something out of nothing. That is enough.

While your first instinct may be to throw out any art you don’t like, it’s useful to keep it for a while, somewhere out of sight. At a later date, pull out the art and look for details of interest. You don’t have to like the whole piece of art. Can you find a small area that intrigues you? Cut that bit out and use it as inspiration to make more art. Revisiting old art after a period of time creates distance between you and the art and reviewing it may give you a different perspective.

As Parr encourages, “Time spent quietly observing and drawing is a gift beyond price.” A gift indeed, if you can see that the value is in the process and not the entirety of each individual art work.



Reviewing art as a tool to reflect on creativity

The Sparkle Experiment small creative play equals connection

Regularly reviewing art we make helps hone our tastes and reflect on the art making process. Consider displaying a ‘successful’ piece of art in a prominent spot you spend time daily at like the bathroom mirror or kitchen. These regularly visited spaces prompt you more often to think about your art and reflect why you feel it’s successful.

Is there it one particular mark that seem full of confidence? A cluster of dots that intrigues you? A colour next to a line that you particularly like? Or it could just be a reminder of how it felt being creative. By noticing the small details, you may start to notice other ‘successful’ areas or marks in other art you initially thought wasn’t good.

Art doesn’t have to be a masterpiece to move us. It can be a fun and uplifting tool to help reflect on your creativity.