When I was a little kid, I loved art classes. I would tour the galleries at the Nelson Atkins Art Museum with my class. We would look at African, Asian and Modern art to spark our imaginations. Then, we would go back to our classrooms to make clay sculptures, collages and watercolor paintings.
My love for art continued in middle school and high school. I learned how to draw accurate still lives in pencil, shading in shadows and erasing in highlights on huge sheets of paper.
I remember I painted a red and yellow still life of flowers in a vase in high school. I consider it my best work.
Drawing and painting people was harder, never looking quite as good. All of those complex textures on my grandma’s face and hair were difficult to mimic. I always though it looked a bit cartoony.
I believe that art classes have taught me a few valuable lessons. One of which is to always look at your work from different perspective. Being too close to a work can give a distorted image. Hanging it up or backing away can bring new insight, like if your subject is too long in the picture or your colors don’t match.
My art teachers would always tell us to take the time to step back and observe a work as a whole, not just the tiny part that you were working on. Those strange looking human figures would always look better and more recognizable after stepping back.
This has been a valuable lesson in writing as well, proofreading and double checking evidence is very important in a piece. And although we have new technology, like spell check and grammar, it is always better to get a second opinion.
So always take a look back at your work and see where can improve. It will help you in the long run.
Step back to gain a brand new perspective