Draw What You Love!


Draw what you love and others will love it too:

When the Art You Create Becomes the Art Other People Adore

By Cindy L. Adkins

Do you remember the very first piece of art that you ever created? I remember my first one. It was actually a Mother's Day card and on the front of it was a turquoise apron made of tulle fabric with a hot pink sash. I was 8-years-old when I made it. Its proud recipient--my mother, displayed it on the door of our refrigerator until I left for college, got married, and had two children of my own. At some point, it was usurped by "Grandchild Art" that my mother proudly exhibited. However, for all those years when it ranked #1 on the copper-colored fridge, I was as proud as can be.

Many years have gone by since then, but I am still affected by how people respond to my work as I am sure you are also. Nothing feels better than someone saying, "That one is my absolute favorite!" I beam with pride the same as I did in third grade. The only thing that has changed is my hair color. Oh yes, and my weight too! But, I am still that same person who wants to put something on canvas, paper, or fabric and have others feel moved by what I create. If you are an artist, I am certain that you care about people's reactions to your art as deeply as I do.

So, how does one go about creating pieces that others enjoy? My thought about that is that if your art means something to you, it will also be significant to others.


Even if the work is controversial, it will most likely have a market, and the people who enjoy it could be clamoring to buy more of it because you share a similar philosophy, viewpoint, or experience.

Often artists will unite behind an important social issue to gain greater exposure for their work. If other community members are passionate about that cause, they could be equally interested in the artists who donated their creations to benefit it. At that point, they could easily inquire about the other work that you do. Let's remember that they already know that you share a common viewpoint, so they have a better sense of who you are before they even have a glimpse of your other pieces.

Now, let's imagine for a moment that you have something you want to create, perhaps using an entirely new color palette, as well as subject matter. If you really admire it when it is completed, there is probably someone else besides your 6-year-old who thinks it is wonderful! That is why artists need to trust their instincts. After all, you do not want to create something that looks like everything else that is out there. You want yours to be unique. You want it to stand out amongst the work of other artists. The last thing you want to produce is "cookie-cutter" art that has no original flair.

That is when trust in yourself and your artistic muses come into play. That is also when you want to let that independent streak of yours come to the forefront. By going out on the artistic limb to produce work that is individual and dynamic, you can make a statement that others will take notice of while expressing what you really want to say through your special talents.

If you are still grappling with how to make your work have greater mass appeal, it is advisable to choose images that you feel the most comfortable with. In other words, if your forte is nautical art, why struggle to create still life pieces if they do not appeal to you? Instead, paint what you love and your devoted following of people will increase because most importantly, you put yourself into each piece that you create. That is what they are really admiring. When a work of art is part of the artist's personal fiber, it comes through on canvas. Each of your pieces is a window into your soul of which you allow viewers to see.

Cindy L. Adkins is a New Orleans-based artist who enjoys inspiring people to use their own creative talents. She believes that the creative process grows even stronger when shared with others. To see her artwork, please visit http://recoveryartist.com

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