While most artists have a way of working that is their main focus, many of us also explore other media or approaches on occasion. While in general it is good to have something that you stick with to develop ideas and master techniques, side trips can be intriguing, and even helpful in feeding new ideas back into your main art practice.
In episode 79 of The Messy Studio Podcast we talked about the benefits of going deeply into a chosen way of working, rather than engaging in a lot of different approaches. We acknowledged that this isn’t right for everyone, especially for more conceptually driven artists whose work is united through ideas rather than media. But just about anyone can benefit from the occasional foray into different ways of working.
Branching out isn’t about abandoning your primary focus, but enjoying the pleasure and excitement of trying new things. This can be an expression of the same ideas that you gravitate toward in your main work, or something completely different. It is a good way to explore concepts and techniques that have appealed to you in the past, but you have never pursued.
Artists tend to be open and curious individuals, and it is natural to have multiple facets and approaches to an art practice. Listen to that small inner voice that occasionally says “would it be interesting to try another medium, if only as a playful, experimental interlude?”
Although a sideline may eventually develop into a true skill, your attitude is often different from the beginning. You are free from any need to prove yourself so there can be pure joy in pursuing these other paths. And along the way, you are learning skills that can impact the way you work most often. In this episode we take a look at specific examples of what branching out can bring to your art practice as a whole.