The basic nature of the artistic process allows artists the opportunity to become inventive and open their minds to what might be possible. Because they see big, they can think big, and they become visionaries who bring their dreams to reality. Artists learn the inner workings of their art form and can use that knowledge and skill to courageously express their ideas, almost completely oblivious to the doubts of others. In truth, they not only see and think big; they can essentially hear and feel it too. They literally feel compelled to go after their ideas. They’re motivated even when others criticize their efforts.
Do not quench your inspiration and your imagination; do not become the slave of your model.
~ Vincent Van Gogh
This aspect of arts awareness can be applied to our everyday lives. In your own life, if you have an idea or a talent, go for it! Take a chance and risk—think big. You owe it to yourself. Learn to think and behave in ways that move you forward. Here are some of the ways you can begin to apply this concept to everyday life:
- Artists use the mind’s eye—use your imagination.
- Risk, and turn failure into achievement—artists turn setbacks into success.
- Learn the artist’s skill by imagining how your end result will look, sound, and feel.
- Look at things in a new way—take things apart and restructure them in a different way.
- Throw out old approaches to things and re-imagine the problem, idea, or issue.
Artists produce a result that all can see or hear—bring your ideas out into the world in some way.
I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
~ Pablo Picasso
Artists look for interconnectedness in things; they look for patterns in ideas. They find similarities that link different concepts together rather than focus on their dissimilar qualities. Leonardo da Vinci was especially observant of the world around him. His numerous sketchbooks became well known after his death for the remarkable sketches from nature, anatomy, science, and engineering. He was curious about the world around him, and the sketchbooks are filled with his explorations.
The image to the right is a page from one of his sketchbooks. Da Vinci frequently sketched things multiple times, often from different angles and different stages to gain a deeper understanding and perspective.
Either you decide to stay in the shallow end of the pool or you go out in the ocean.
~ Christopher Reeve
See yourself as a part of a bigger whole. In order to think big, you need to be inquisitive and examine the larger world around you. Make note of what you see. Albert Einstein said, “I have no particular talent. I am merely inquisitive.” He stayed with problems until they were solved. The greatest artists are curious and have endurance and resilience. If you have a strong enough vision, you can learn to think big and artistically shape your everyday experience one day—one brushstroke—at a time.