When I studied fine arts more than ten years ago, the most important concept for art didactics was “Künstlerische Bildung” and my professors (Prof. Dr. Joachim Kettel, Dr. Katja Noltze, Martin Pfeiffer, Prof. Dr. Paul M. Kästner) were deeply involved in the evolution of this concept. It is a very complex idea and I try to break it down to its’ essence:
First, the concept states that everyone is an artist and everything I do is art as soon as I do it
- with the (conscious or unconscious) purpose of shaping myself
- with the (conscious or unconscious) purpose of expressing myself
This means that your mind is wide awake, you’re highly concentrated on your work and conscious of every step.
Every experience we make either creates new links in our brain or deepens existing ones. Anyway: The experience changes us unevitably and shapes our personality. This is what art does to us: it shapes our minds, our thoughts, our personality.
Imagine a baby that gets hold of moms plate with spaghetti bolognese for the first time. It will play with the food before it tries if it’s edible. The mess will be huge, but the baby will be happy. And it has learned a lot: How does that food feel like? How does it smell? How does it look on the brand new white blanket? Now imagine the next time mom has spaghetti bolognese on her plate! The baby will recognize it, remember the experiences it made, and – now knowing that it was a very intersting and sensual experience – try to get hold of that plate again. The first experience has shaped the baby.
Let’s stay with the baby example: Now that the baby knows how wonderful it is to paint on the formerly white blanket, it will try to get more ‘color’ on the blanket and distribute it somehow. The babys wish to do that is its purpose of expression.
Congratulations, you have a gifted baby artist!
Yup, that means that a much bigger part of life is art than most people would ever consider as art. Art is not only the result (e.g. a painting), but also the whole process that leads to the expressing result (e.g. the research, the sketches, the thoughts and discussions).
While this is already a very comprehensive idea, my recent engagement in Buddhism (buddhist philosophy and psychology rather than the religion) added even more depth to this concept. We’re much more than individual parts of a bigger entity. We’re linked to the world that surrounds us. Holism is a big thing in Buddhism.
What does this mean when I create a piece of art, e.g. painting?
The ‘normal’ approach would be a very visual kind: We’d use our eyes to mix colors and when we brush the canvas, we don’t use our thoughts on the brush or the action of brushing. Instead we’d focus on the result: Does it look the way I want it to?
Now the comprehensive approach engages more senses: We’d be in a mindful state of mind. We’d feel the brush and the resistance of the canvas, when we put pressure with our strokes. We’d smell the colors, the medium. Maybe we’d use our hands and touch the color, either to fingerpaint or just to feel the texture. We’d observe the sunlight and the surroundings.
The experience it totally different, and I think it is of the utmost importance to you!
Being mindful as an artist will deepen your experiences and help you shaping yourself and the world that surrounds you. It will help you in keeping a clear mind and thus getting better results.
More than that, I’ll also have a look on other aspects that are not directly connected to the production of art. I’ll still share crafting and art ideas, tutorials and recipies, but I’ll try to concentrate on a wider range of aspects. I’ll also try to to show you how everything is integrated in the world, I’ll show connections and links. I intend to spend one day a month with revising the existing articles, linking them and build a tight net of information for you.
I’ll also write about other aspects of a creative life, because artists are not the only creatives in the world. Many businesses require lots of creativity, but unfortunately, companies often don’t invest in educating their employees in creativity techniques e.g. I’ll fill that gap for you! Creativity in business beyond art will make a big part of this blog.
I’ll also share my ideas on the business part of being an artist or creative in another way. We’ll talk about how to make a living from your art, how to end a block, work-life balance as an artist, and many other things.
Art supplies will also be a big topic, as I think the side-effects of our art supplies need much more attention as there is absolute no awareness at all. Most artists just want to know if the tool will get the result they want, but never check on the consequences for health, environment, or our abilities to stay integrated in our world.
Living a comprehensive approach to creativity means looking beyond one’s own nose!
It is a much more intensive way to experience the world, and I want to share with you how you can intensify your own approach to creativity!
I hope this wall of text helped you better understand my vision and my goals with this blog.
It is important for me to get your feedback and questions! Let me know what you think about my concept of a comprehensive approach to art and creativity!