An Artist’s New Year’s Resolutions


Photo by Dean Hochman via Flickr Creative Commons

It can be difficult to find the time for the rewarding and therapeutic process of art. Many of you, like me, after taking a short break from your course and delving into this recreational activity over the Christmas period may find yourselves missing that buzz and gratification you obtained from producing something that captured your imagination.

Some may feel that the creation of art while at university is unwarranted and may even feel a sense of guilt in channelling so much energy and focus into something that isn’t, for most of us, degree related. However, I find, and believe many others feel the same, that art is one of the most mindful hobbies you can possibly have. Admittedly, mindfulness has become a commonly used term and with the endless, and for the most part tedious, lists of New Year’s resolutions it can be easy to disregard this term as merely a fad that has taken hold of the public’s imagination, in the aim to improve our inner beings.

However, are we not living in an age where stress is higher than ever before? Are we not living in an age where the social, academic and economic expectations of us are higher than ever before? It can be easy to become preoccupied with goals that we set ourselves in our lives, and it can often be healthy for us to step back for a moment. Step back and focus on something that will psychologically reward us but won’t cause us any grief if the outcome is not entirely satisfactory. Art is a great source of escapism, and a productive and rewarding distraction!

Here are a few tips to help create while in Durham:

-Art SOC

Has a great variety! Life drawing classes are held every Tuesday 19.30-21.20, with the first one being held on 19/01/16 in ER149. Life drawing enables you to draw quicker and improves the accuracy and the precision of your drawing. There is also portrait speed dating which is being held on Thursday 21/01/16, Kingsgate Bar in Durham Students’ Union, 19.30-21.20, and this is free for everyone.


Durham based THORN is both an online journal and a live event series. Submissions are needed for their upcoming exhibition ‘Turning Tides,’ including everything from painting to sketches, sculpture to photography, design to fashion, as well as installation proposals. You can also sign up to the newsletter and even submit work for the online journal which specialises in pieces made in collaboration with other artists and other art forms- be it poetry or film, art or prose, music or animation.

-Be inspired

From the Oriental Museum in Durham to the Laing gallery and the BALTIC centre there’s plenty of art to be seen in the Durham and Newcastle area! Durham is such a beautiful place, remind yourself to stop and look around – you may find a view that inspires you!

-Share your work on social media

Art is meant for sharing and it’s always gratifying when others show appreciation for your artwork ! It also enables you to form an online portfolio and this also makes it easier if you need to reference a past piece or evaluate one of your past works.

-Frame and display your work

If you’re proud of what you’ve produced, why not get it framed? This will serve as a reminder of what you are capable of and how much you enjoyed making the art. It will also protect your art and will look more professional.

-Be avant-garde

Being adventurous, experimental and impulsive in art can very often produce more expressive and beautiful pieces. Using different media, for example, can really give you a new perspective of the subject you are studying. Using mixed media can also allow you to accentuate certain parts of the piece and will make you a more versatile artist. Over thinking a piece can often overwhelm the foundations of the initial idea, and it can be liberating to produce a piece of art from that fleeting spark of inspiration.

-Finally enjoy the process!

This is, fundamentally, most important. If you enjoy the process you are more likely to obtain a satisfying outcome and continue to produce art.

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