Virtual Art Museums: Fuel to do Something Great
By God-given talent, I am an artist. I like to paint and draw. My medium? Watercolor and graphite. I also sing and play instruments. But have you ever looked through a virtual art museum (read: Instagram) and look at pages like @dope_black_art, @blackartistspace, or @youngblackartists and think “wow, I can remake that in my own style…” or “I wonder what technique they used to get that effect…” or “Damn, I wish I could be that good…”?
What this does for me is create a sense of creative ambition. I screenshot pictures of others artwork and come up with ways I can re-create the painting, drawing or photograph in my own art medium and style. Most of the pictures in my phone are selfies (whether mine or someone else's) and artwork.
IG pages like the ones mentioned are filled with images of different paintings, photographs, drawings, processes, or techniques. This “fuel” gives me the creative juice I wasn’t looking for, but definitely needed. With the Black Panther movie, many of these pages focused on black features and black images, it also gave me a daily dose of #BlackPeopleMagic. Most of the artists are black as well, but some artists are white, like @saragolish.
Because I consider myself still an apprentice when it comes to art, I look to these pages for inspiration for new concepts, and more importantly, I look to them for technique, especially paintings utilizing watercolor. How can I mute my colors? How can I get more clear images, rather than a muddy mess? How do they create hair with watercolor? What is a wet-on- wet technique and how is that beneficial? When do I know when I am done? These are questions I can answer by simply scrolling and double tapping.
Not only am I learning as I go, but I am also appreciating other mediums and the beautiful portraits they create. The beautiful thing about this virtual art museums, is the pictures change every minute it seems. A regular brick and mortar museum changes portraits and exhibits every month, if not longer. This way, I can take in more technique, more information, quicker. Plus, unlike many museum exhibits, I can speak to the artist and ask my questions, albeit it is through online chatting. Go look them up! I’m telling you, you won’t regret it.