Art Festival Newsletter | July 2022
The Art Inspiration Edition

“Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dalí
When you depend on your creativity day after day, it's not uncommon to hit a wall in your inspiration. This edition of the Art Festival Newsletter is to help you find sources for inspiration and creativity.
The process of seeking out creative inspiration is as individual as the art you create. Figuring out how you best get inspired is a process, and if you keep an open mind, it can be a lot of fun. 
Sometimes we just need a little push, a few ideas, to get us going in the right direction. Here are 10 tips that you can start to use right now, especially if your muse isn’t answering her texts:
1. Create every day. Sure, that sounds easy, but how can you create when you don’t feel inspired? The trick is to look at the situation the other way around: If you set aside time every day to do something—anything—it will form a creative habit. 
2. Make mistakes. Imperfection and mistakes are not just common in art making but are an important part in the creative process. Often what keeps us from finding inspiration is the fear of making mistakes—even small ones. We don’t want to ruin what we’re working on. We don’t want to take a risk in case it doesn’t pay off. Your art will never be perfect, and you’ll never be a perfect artist. But with every piece of art you make, you’ll be a better artist than you were before.
3. Cut the chaos. It’s practically heretical to ask artists to part with a portion of their supplies, tools, and materials. But how your workspace functions is a huge part of how you function as an artist. Cut the chaos out of your studio so you can focus more on what inspires you.
4. Make a list. Lists are easy to write, a quick way to reference ideas and keep your day on track.
5. Make time for play. Just as spending time on actual projects is essential, so is play. Research has shown that adults who make time to play reap the benefits in terms of greater productivity, more creativity and greater health and happiness.
6. Don’t always rely on the Internet. Searching for ideas on the web is great when you feel a lack of motivation—until you’re down that rabbit hole looking at everything ever created. Then comes the creative logjam when it comes time to making something—with all those great ideas, where to begin?
7. Be inspired by what you love. By starting with something you already enjoy, you’re more apt to be inspired by it. Originality and uniqueness come from taking whatever it is that inspires you and pushing it until you enter a new realm that’s entirely yours.
8. Copy yourself. Artists are told again and again to try something new, push the envelope and a few other clichés. Go back to a piece of art you created and love, dissect why it worked. Then go ahead and copy those parts of it, while allowing new ideas, impulses, and/or supplies into the mix.
9. Work intuitively. Sometimes we’re in our heads so much that we can’t find our way out—we over-analyze every mark, paint stroke, and bit of ephemera we’re about to work with, until we feel anything but inspired to make art. By working intuitively, we can let go of expectations and plans and just create. 
10. Nature can make you a better artist. The study, observation, and contemplation of natural phenomena and natural forms can be inspirational. If you can’t take a hike in the woods or a stroll on the beach, study a tree, a cloud formation, or a flower.
Inspiration for this list came from Artpromotivate, Artwork Archive, & Damian Osborne.
“I don’t think about art when I’m working. I try to think about life.” – Jean-Michel Basquiat
October 21-22, 2022
Sheraton Suites, Old Town Alexandria, VA
Conference Fee (In Person): $695
Virtual Conference Cost: $500
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent van Gogh

Don’t copy the masters of the past, learn from them, see something and create your version of it.

A little wisdom or perspective from days gone by can make all the difference. One of the best ways of finding inspiration as an artist is looking at other artists’ work and learning from them.
We are not discussing copying from the old masters - that would just be a poor imitation of great art, but seeking inspiration from others, is a practice that artists, including the old masters themselves, have engaged in for generations.
Historical canon is so important: it teaches artists what good art is. Being able to look at other artists’ work and decipher what they were doing and their thought processes behind what they were doing can open your creativity and hone your skills. If you can spend time with the work that is inspiring you, the goal is to discover what exactly you love so much.
Artistic decisions have already been made for you. You already have the subject, composition, format, and colors worked out for you. It is just a matter of figuring out how the artist put it all together. Simple, right? It is not quite as easy as it might seem.
Your journey through others may teach you new techniques. As you look at the art ask yourself questions such as the following: "What color did the artist lay on first?", "What kind of brush did the artist use?", "What direction is the brush stroke going?”, “How did the artist make that plane recede?", "Is that edge soft or hard?", "Did the artist apply the paint thinly or thickly?" 

When you have greater clarity about what it is you love, you can use what you’re looking at as a starting point. Inspiration from others will help you develop skills to bring to your own art.
“Inhale possibility, exhale creativity.” – Laura Jaworski
Last Chance to APPLY: Click logo for more information!
Waynesboro, VA
October 8-9, 2022
Application Deadline 8/1/22
Port Warwick, VA
October 8-9, 2022
Application Deadline 7/30/22
“Art is an adventure into an unknown world, which can be explored only by those willing to take risks.”
– Mark Rothko
One defining factor of contemporary art (art made in the latter half of the 20th century until now) is the focus on ideas or interests, rather than the beauty or appeal of the artwork. 

This art responds to the times we live in, focusing on broad contextual frameworks – from political and cultural, themes of identity, and advancing technology. Artists make art based on concepts and react to the world’s political and cultural lives.

Three of the most infuential contemporary artists of are highlighted below.
Frida Kahlo. Perhaps no other artist, be it man or woman, has influenced artists, given them unspoken permission to share their thoughts on personal suffering, sexuality and gender inequality as Frida Kahlo. Her works are a complicated blend of everyday existence, fantasy, and the emotions of human experience. She has a following like few other contemporary artists, and a signature style. Her works give artists a blessing to express themselves freely, to challenge boundaries, and to use any form of representation to tell their stories.
Frank Stella. Perhaps the most loved American artist, Stella practically brought painting back to life singlehandedly and birthed minimalism. His imaginative work spanned over 25 years, bringing life to canvas through bold shapes and color, while others fled painting in droves. Artists are indebted to him for his devotion to art, through his own transformation as an artist and the way in which he breathed life into art in the United States.
Andy Warhol. Warhol exemplified the marriage of art and graphic design, paving the way for generations of artists who ride on his coattails to blend consumerism and artistic creation. Utilizing screen printing as a new tool, Warhol sparked the curiosity of art enthusiasts and celebrities alike with his presentation of the world of the elite alongside common commercial items which were part of everyday life. He expanded his art to include photography and filmmaking, inspired the genre of Pop Art, and became the first recognized creator of digital art when he became a spokesman for Amiga computers in 1984.
Art Inspiration Online

  • Pinterest: Search for the style of art you’re looking for, or follow artists you admire for a steady stream of inspiration. 
“I make art to show my soul that I am listening.”
– Pat Wiederspan Jones
Contact Robin Markowitz at
The Art-Linx website has the most current Call to Artist information