Intuitive Art

Art comes in many forms, and in most cases the artist has something in mind about what they want to create. With the exception of intuitive art, many intend on creating a lifelike representation of something. There is some sort of guiding idea on what they want to make. The artist looks out at the ocean and paints it. Or maybe, the artist looks within herself and paints that feeling.

Intuitive Art is a conduit for self-acceptance and an allowance of trusting what comes next in an open and playful manner.

Heather Christian Iglesias

Intuitive art is different. Rather than starting with an idea or a feeling and then attempting to create it, the focus on intuitive art is to do the opposite. Here, the art leads the artist; there is no specific organization or intention. But the main point is not to start with any agenda, instead the artist should rely only on their instinct. Through the process of creating the intuitive art, whatever subconscious feeling or idea that is within the artist will simply emerge naturally.

The benefits of utilizing this strategy are twofold. First, if you’re experiencing a creativity block and don’t have any ideas about what to create, then don’t start with an idea at all! You don’t have to draw inspiration from anywhere, anyone, or anything. Inspiration will come out of you organically rather than deliberately. Just grab a brush and start painting! Pick up your pen and start drawing! When you don’t have any preconceptions about what you want to do, getting started will be much easier.

Secondly, the practice of Intuitive Art is exceptionally therapeutic. Consider it a form of meditation. You can let your mind relax and take a break from persistent, distracting, and stressful thoughts. As for the art, you don’t need to sit and ponder deliberately, ‘does this look good?’, ‘does this need to be touched up?’ There’s no reason to criticize, evaluate, or analyze the art because the focus is on the process, not the product.

Naturally, the images that you create will very likely be mostly abstract, especially at first, but over time as you continue to work on a single piece, eventually more representational elements may appear as the work evolves over time. Regardless, it’s done when you say it’s done. Don’t feel like there is some kind of external timeline by which you have to abide.

If you’re new to this art form but would like to try it out, here are some tips to get started:

  1. Gather art materials like pens, paint, pencils, crayons, brushes, etc. Consider alternative tools like sponges, stencils, stamps, toothbrushes, combs, spoons, plastic straws, etc. You can try magazine cutouts, feathers, shells, leaves, bottle caps, flowers, glue, etc. Try painting with your hands (or even feet!) Don’t limit yourself by limiting your materials!
  2. Make the setting conducive to your creative energy. If you need things to be quiet, find a quiet place. If you need music then play your favorite music. Things could get messy so consider wearing old clothes and an apron.
  3. Start the creative juices flowing by just starting with some colors that you like to create the base for the work. Mix colors together, or keep them separate. Draw shapes and images. Create contrast and harmony with cool and warm colors.
  4. After you have a background you like, start to layer images and shapes on top of each other. Experiment with playful techniques like mixing soapy water with paint and blowing bubbles with a straw. Don’t be afraid to get your hands messy! When a layer is dry, put on another layer. Consider using collage materials.
  5. Take your time and don’t feel like you have to finish in one session. Remember, there is no agenda. You can always set it aside and come back to it later. You can use a blowdryer to speed things along, or just let it air dry.
  6. Keep your mind open and don’t second guess yourself. When you feel like you may have made a mistake, put that thought out of your head and do your best to ignore it. The most important thing to remember is there are no mistakes in intuitive art.

Intuitive art is a beautiful method of unleashing your natural internal creativity, unfettered by concrete concepts and external influences.

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