July 15, 2024

136: What is an Art Practice?

In this episode of the Adventures in Arting Podcast, Julie and Eileen delve into the intricacies of developing an artistic practice, emphasizing its dynamic and personal nature. The discussion unfolds in four parts, covering various aspects of an art practice.

Part 1: Introduction to Artistic Practice

Julie introduces the concept of an artistic practice, highlighting its multifaceted nature. She draws parallels between her art practice and other daily practices, such as exercise. The importance of consistency, routine, and the inclusion of both creativity and business aspects in an art practice are emphasized.

Part 2: Documentation and Capturing Ideas

The second part centers on documentation as a crucial aspect of an art practice. Julie stresses the significance of recording thoughts, ideas, and the creative process itself. She introduces the concept of a “thought feather” — fleeting ideas that need to be captured before they disappear. The importance of understanding one’s artistic language and building a visual vocabulary is explored.

Part 3: Field Trips and Gathering Inspiration

Part three delves into what Julie calls “field trips” in her artistic practice. Drawing inspiration from Julia Cameron’s artist dates, Julie emphasizes the necessity of stepping outside one’s comfort zone and engaging with the real world. Museums, nature, networking, and community-related activities are all considered as potential field trips. Julie encourages processing these experiences through writing or drawing to integrate them into the art practice.

Part 4: Reflection and Developing an Artistic Lifestyle

The final part explores the often-private nature of artistic pursuits and the challenge of finding a strong artistic community. Julie and her mom discuss whether everyone needs an art practice, with the consensus being that it depends on individual goals. Julie provides six steps for developing an art practice:

  1. Define your artistic goals.
  2. Consider your preferred process.
  3. Balance routine and flexibility.
  4. Embrace continuous learning.
  5. Build a supportive community.
  6. Evaluate and adapt.

In summary, the podcast offers valuable insights into the nuanced and evolving nature of an artistic practice. It underscores the importance of documentation, gathering inspiration from various sources, and the role of reflection in fostering artistic growth. The steps provided by Julie serve as a practical guide for individuals looking to develop their own unique and fulfilling art practices.

You can also watch the podcast on YouTube:


Be the boss of color. Join me for Practical Color for Painters! “Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out.” – Matisse


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