The web abounds with places to challenge your artistic skills and whether or not you create something credible is really besides the point. Challenges should be just that - offering you the opportunity to stretch your skills and look at things outside of your normal artistic perspective.
(And I'm sorry, but I don't count group theme projects that are of the same sort each week - they don't really stretch your creativity much as they don't require you to think too far outside your usual box or comfort zone.)
By definition a challenge should be: difficulty in a job or undertaking that is stimulating to one engaged in it.
Or, in my language, something that gives you pause for thought while you try and figure out how to do it.
So, I have joined this lovely little group on Flickr called Digitalmania where there is a Challenge each week to create some (digital) art that emulates a recognized artist.
This week the Challenge is to create a piece (or 4) in the vein of Romare Bearden. The neat thing about this challenge is that I had never heard of the guy. Knew zip, nada, nothing about him. And now I do.
In order to create my challenge piece I had to do some research, check out his bio, look at his work and figure out how I might use my trusty Photoshop tools to create a work in his like.
It was a challenge.
Bearden's subject matter is not one that I regularly work with. His colors were bright and brash, which suits me but to simulate his cut and paste style and lend some authenticity to it in the digital environment without it looking too boxy was not all that easy.
Did I rise to the challenge? Yes. I enjoyed being pushed and having to think in directions that are not usual for me.
Did I make a piece of art that looks like Bearden's? Maybe.
I don't want to copy the guy but he certainly has great material to be inspired by.
And best of all, I walked outside my ho-hum boundaries, looked at something new and pushed myself to go to places that are not usual for me. Oh Yah!
So do tell, who has insprired and challenged you lately?
When was it that you departed from the tried and trusty route to create something totally "out of the box"?