In 2012 I posted an article titled “10 ways to develop your own artistic style”. Many of the points involved seeing other artists’ work and since then I have realized that it may be helpful to talk about how to get other people’s art in front of you. Exposing yourself to more art opens all sorts of avenues of inspiration and dialogue and the active pursuit of other artists’ work should be part of your artistic routine. These suggestions are based on use of the internet because I think that it should be a given that going to a gallery or museum to view art is one of the best ways to view art. Here are a few ways to see more art.
Many artists have personal pages for their art and once you have found an artist whose work you like you may look them up on Facebook to keep up with them. There are also many art magazines such as Juxtapoz, Frieze, and ARC Magazine that consistently post work that you may not have otherwise seen – go ‘like’ their page!
This is my personal favorite art exposure medium. Tumblr is a micro-blogging site that is like an inspiration board. Once someone you follow posts something you can ‘heart’ it, which saves it for further viewing but doesn’t show your followers. You can also reblog images but please keep artist information intact. You can see an example of my curated art blog at http://www.ashermains.tumblr.com. You will need to start by doing a search for art and then once you start following people you can go deeper by following blogs they follow. Follow your way to finding good art.
3. Museum and Gallery Sites
If you live in a city with an art museum you’ll definitely want to find them and try to keep up with their events and activities. Otherwise you can do a little work and find some sites that you can either follow through social media, bookmark for quick access or even make them your browser’s start page. Some of examples of museums to keep up with are Museum of Modern Art, Art Institute of Chicago, or Guggenheim Museums. Galleries I enjoy visiting online are Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, Turner Carroll Gallery, or our very own Art and Soul Gallery. One of the benefits of this approach is that you can see their list of artists and then see if an artist you like is on social media.
If you are the pinning type, Pinterest offers another social way of finding artwork you like. The advantage to Pinterest is that you can categorize posts for your reference. Your boards could have titles like “Portraits”, “Artists I like”, “I want to paint like this”, or “colour palettes”. You can even add a “Pin It” button to your browser so that while you are browsing the new art sites you’ve found you can easily add images to one of your boards. As always, with social media, always keep artist and the source information intact.
5. Identify your hip art friend
This approach taps into your existing artistic relationships. If you feel like you’ve looked up everything you can think of and you need some new search items, talk to your hip art friend. Everyone knows someone who likes to listen to music that is not popular yet, or has a tech device that nobody else has yet. Artists are the same way; we love to find new artists that aren’t getting attention and we love talking about it. Start a conversation with your artist friends by asking things like, “Whose work have you been looking at recently?” “Who would you have a show with if you could?” “Have you seen anyone else doing similar work as you?”
Because art and preference is so subjective, there is no cookie cutter list of sites or people to talk to that will automatically step up your art seeking game. Once you get a feel for how to navigate these platforms keep a few things in mind:
- You like what you like. Don’t filter yourself or feel like you should be like some things and not others. Your quest for inspiration and other artists is yours to have and you don’t need to justify your preferences to anyone.
- Professionals in the art world at some point will ask you one of their back pocket questions, “Who influences you?” you should have a couple names in your back pocket. There are even art jobs that want to see some of your curated work as part of the application process.
- When reposting or sharing other people’s work, always keep the language positive or don’t post it. I have seen people repost things like, “Can you believe this piece sold for X amount of money?” or “This painting is so bad I think it crashed my browser.” If you don’t have anything nice to say…
This should get you started on your path of new art discovery, happy hunting!