- by Always Art Staff
Reflection is an essential part of the artistic process. Reviewing your work and revisiting previous pieces, sketchbooks, and ideas are some of the best ways to help you refine your skills, find new inspiration, and grow artistically. Make sure reflection is part of your regular practice, and keep a sketchbook or journal that can help you brainstorm for individual artworks or pieces and track other progress to do with your career and practice.
If you’re wondering what to reflect on, here are five ideas:
This refers to all areas of your artistic career. Assess how far you have come stylistically and in terms of your artistic skill level. But don’t limit yourself to only measuring progress in your artwork output. Also, consider how you have been growing your network, seeking opportunities, and other key features of your career progression. Make goals and set timelines wherever possible to keep yourself focused and make measuring your progress easy. Do you want a tip for goal setting? Try to set goals that you have control over, such as “attend X number of events per month” or “reach out to X number of galleries or opportunities each week” instead of “get picked for five shows.”
2. Areas for improvement
Assess what areas are consistently harder for you and where you can grow and improve even more. Do you struggle with consistency? Networking? What do you see as an area where you haven’t improved at the pace you’d hoped for?
Setting and tracking goals can also help you find areas for improvement, as you may discover particular areas of your practice that you consistently neglect or procrastinate on.
3. New ideas
Reflecting on your work can help you find patterns and trends that can inspire new ideas or directions for future work. You may even find that you are interested in resuming an older project now that you have a new perspective and point of view to bring to the table. Looking through previous sketchbooks or unfinished work is a great way to get yourself out of a creative rut if you are having trouble getting motivated or thinking of new ideas.
4. Building your body of work
Revisiting older pieces, again and again, can help you to build a cohesive body of artwork because it will encourage you to bring elements into your newer pieces and develop a style that permeates across your entire portfolio. This can help your artistic career, improve the quality of your exhibitions, and make your work appealing to collectors.
5. Sharing your journey
As you reflect, share your growth with your social media followers and community to encourage other artists and keep your network updated. You may inspire someone to reach out to you or leave a comment that can open up future opportunities.