Art Plagiarism - Think Again! by Carissa Goldstein

As I delve further into the art world, I am constantly coming face to face with misconceptions I've had through the years. One prime example of this was learning how much creativity I have to bring to the table. Along with the mystical idea of being hit with inspiration, I assumed that what artists came up with was entirely of their own creation. Little did I realize that each artist starts at the beginning and has to learn the rules before they can break them. Van Gogh and Monet didn't start out with a signature style. They learned from their instructors and mimicked their styles first.

By taking classes with different instructors, I learn the tools needed to take me to the next step when I finally do find that inspiration. I can combine the techniques of other artists and put my own spin on them to create my art. It's not about sitting down in a room by yourself in front of a canvas and creating art. I think the most effective way to become creative is to first learn how others are creative and copy them. Of course this doesn't mean tracing another artist's work in your own hand and selling it as your own. Instead this means learning painting techniques, collage techniques, or whatever other techniques interest you from experienced artists before going out on your own. Aside from professional artists, I've drawn inspiration in classes from the other students around me. Everyone thinks differently, so in a class where we learned how to carve our own stamps, I was enthralled at the designs other people came up with. I was able to borrow their stamps to create my own piece of art in a unique manner. This is a perfect example of drawing from others to aid in your creative quest. Art is best done in a group setting to get the creative juices flowing. When I scrapbook, I often look at others' ideas and templates before deciding what tools and equipment I want to use, and then I embellish on those ideas and add a bit of my own personality. Everybody can create, no matter who you are, so stop thinking you can't!

Along with learning techniques from those around you, I think it can also be helpful to try to reproduce art that has already been done, but adding your own twist. It's about learning to crawl before you can run. Start with a prospect that doesn't scare the creativity right out of you. I'm learning to take these baby steps, difficult as it may be. Learn from my mistakes, and don't expect to paint the Sistine chapel in a day! Above all, remember that art is meant to be fun and therapeutic, not scary!

As a side note, I would encourage everyone local to the Raleigh area to check out the new S.T.A.R.T. program – Stop Thinking Art is Really Tough! This program is designed for those of you who aren't sure where to start or what to do. The workshops are Thursday evenings, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., all art supplies are included, and you'll leave with a finished piece of art, all for only $30! Starting in February, I'll be taking these workshops and offering feedback after the classes to let you know how they're going. Stay tuned!


Jerry's Launches All New Art Community


In the interests of keeping you connected to the many valuable things happening we set out to organize it all in our new Artist Community Area. From facebook to twitter to our blog, get featured news stories and events happening now... it's is all in one place we call the "Community."  According to Wikipedia, "The word community is derived from the Old French communite which is derived from the Latin communitas (cum, "with/together" + munus, "gift"), a broad term for fellowship or organized society." .....with/together is what life is all about.
The great thing about our Community is anyone can get involved from professional artists, to teachers, to bloggers, those looking to learn more about art or just stay informed.

We will be posting featured announcements and events that are happening right now such as the Art-A-Athon, Contests such as the Artist of the Month and much more. In our quest to add more resources we started out with the Workshop listings and FREE Video Art Lessons (the free video art lessons will be getting a whole new makeover so stay tuned). Jerrys provides listings of workshops here and abroad for those who want to improve their skills, expand their creativity and become part of the art community and you can get more information on the workshop listings in the community.

We will soon be adding testimonials, product reviews, comments and suggestions and ways to get ideas and tips. We have many great artists, writers, partnerships and resources to bring to you so please join us and become part of our community.

Thank You,
All your Friends at Jerry's Artarama

Preserving our Past by Wilson Bickford

As artists, we are able to record the details of our generation for all posterity.
To prove my point, I will mention two names: George Washington and Jesus Christ. Upon reading those names, it's without question that a "visual" popped into your head, correct?

The reason is that you have a reference to these two individuals because of artists' interpretations through the centuries. There are countless examples such as these and I simply picked these two because they are so well-known. Christ has been portrayed through imagination (no one really knows what he looked like) by thousands of artists and Washington posed several times for portraitist Gilbert Stuart, among others.

Anything that is in threat of becoming obsolete or extinct can be captured by the artist as a record or reminder to future generations.
Although photography wasn't in existence back in the day and art was the sole means of documentation, we can still use our skills to this end today.
I am an animal lover and activist for their rights and I often consider the dwindling species on this planet, which may well become extinct, never to be seen again. I recently felt compelled to render this polar bear, because their habitat is diminishing. It will be a major shame should we lose these magnificent creatures.
I challenge you to paint something that may not last forever. Just do it while you still can!
Whether it's a rustic old barn, a crumbling lighthouse or an endangered animal species.
Your portrayal today can serve as a reminder for the world tomorrow.

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