Creating Art Is Like Writing A Story

You may find yourself looking at a blank canvas wondering what to do. This feeling is similar to a writer staring at a blank page wondering where to start the story.


Just like a writer uses words to construct a masterpiece, you can use a variety of tools, tips, and techniques to create your works of art.


Think of it this way: If every story has a beginning, middle, and end; then each piece of art you create is similar.


The difference is that while many writers may finish writing their story, you can continue to add to your masterpiece long after you’ve placed your first finishing touch.


Your Options Are Endless


Take the pressure off yourself and let your creativity flow by exploring various tips and techniques. You can use them as guides to lead you throughout your artistic journey.


The path you take is unique, and what you create can go in so many different directions that the opportunities before you are endless.


In upcoming posts, I’ll share with you alternative tools and methods you can play with until you find what works best for you.


Explore Different Tips & Techniques


I believe that there are five categories of creative art techniques: tools, variety, creativity, value, and mindset. Let’s take a peek at each one.




I recommend you use an assortment of tools to conventionally and unconventionally create your works of art. From spray bottles to plastic wrap to brushes—the options you can use to create shapes, layers, and textures are endless.


For instance, have you ever considered using a Buddha Board to lay out your composition and determine the shapes you want to incorporate? This tool allows you to practice your art technique without wasting ink, paint or paper. (Don’t know what a Buddha Board is? Click here to see one and stay tuned for more in an upcoming post.)


You can use a piece of plastic wrap (aka Saran) to make subtle strokes that look accidental and create delightful surprises. This technique can bring an element of spontaneity to your artwork.


Using brushes of various shapes and sizes can give you more control over your creations. Pair them with nonconventional tools to create a look that balances structured and unstructured looks. You are guaranteed to produce more points of interest that draw people in.


Try using spray bottles to water down specific areas you’ve previously painted. It can create drips or a unique spraying effect. Just like other tools, you can uncover an array of new techniques using spray bottles.



I use a mental checklist to ensure there is enough variety in every piece of art I create.


You can use a similar process that is simple to follow while comfortably ensuring you hit all the points. 


I’ll cover this in more detail in future posts, but here’s a taste to whet your appetite. When you’re contemplating your next creation, ask yourself:

•   Will you use large or small shapes?

•   Will your lines be thick or thin?

•   Should your shapes be open or closed?

The question you can ask yourself have no right or wrong answers. They are designed to help you think about what you’re doing and unleash your inner creativity.


By providing enough variety to your creation, you’re helping those who view your art to unconsciously focus on particular places within your work.


Variety combines visual elements to intentionally create intricate and complex relationships. This technique increases the visual interest of your work and helps the eye naturally gravitate to specific points of deliberate chaos, contrast, and excitement.



You may not realize it, but we all have an endless well of creativity deep within us. The key is learning how to tap into our inner voice when we embark on our art creation journey.


Some people call this creative well intuition. Others say this is following your gut.


Whatever you call it, you need to become comfortable listening to your inner voice, saying yes to what you hear, and seeing what happens when you follow your instinct.


You need to give yourself permission to be playful.


Let go of structure and rule by continually asking yourself the “what if” question?


What if I…

•   Turn the canvas upside down?

•   Work with another color?, etc.


The “what if” question can help you move forward without waiting for creativity and inspiration to appear. This technique can also add energy to your work while keeping things lively.


This approach is absolutely essential to creating any form of art— from drawing to sculpture to painting. You need the “what if” technique to bring out your creations.


Asking yourself the “what if” question can open doors you might have never explored.


You don’t have to restrict this question to your art studio. You can use it everywhere you go.


For example, go for a walk around the block and take photos of colors or patterns that appeal to you. When you return to your workspace, respond to each one in some form on paper.


The “what if” exercise should become a constant technique in your arsenal. The more you use it to stretch your creativity, the more your work will improve.



While value may seem like an abstract concept for creating art, it is considered to be one of the most important variables an artist needs to consider.


As an art element, value refers to the visible lightness or darkness of a color. It is easy to visualize value in work that only uses black, white, and a grayscale without other colors.


To make it easier to understand, a value scale has been created to help systematically organize nine values ranging from white to black with several shades of gray in between. The shades of gray can create the illusion of depth and make your creations three-dimensional.


The most successful pieces of art have 3-4 values.


I’ll dig into how to use the technique of value deeper in a future post.



Many artists suffer from a fear that their art isn't good enough to share, sell, or (insert action here). Their fear originates from a way of thinking about life and about art. This is a mindset.


It is critical that you free your mindset by giving yourself permission to embrace new and exciting things.


You need to practice saying no to your self-doubt, and accept that there is no right or wrong way.


Allow yourself to let go of self-limiting beliefs, and let your “mistakes” lead you in a new direction.


Keep a Positive Outlook


Bottom line: If you can do all the other techniques but don’t have the right mindset, your creativity won’t flow.


While creating art can be complex, I know some easy steps to quickly get you to where you want to go.


Stay tuned for upcoming posts walk you through simple techniques you can use to use to discover your creative potential.