“How do you do that?” Artists hear that question a lot. But the answers are nearly always unsatisfying, aren’t they?

Here’s why: Because more often than not, the underlying question is “How can I do that?” The answer always involves life experiences, education, mentors, motivations, locations, successes, failures, tools and mysterious mental wranglings that are different from yours. Oh that we could simply buy John Lennon’s guitar or Picasso’s brushes and get on with it!

That last bit isn’t so far off the mark. Most artists start out copying things they see, including the work of artists who inspire them. Does that sound like you? As you gain confidence with your tools and technique — even if they were originally the tools and techniques of others — your own style will emerge. It’s only a matter of stepping up, getting involved and staying in the game. Step by step you will find your way through. Then, sooner than you think, you will be asked the inevitable question: How do you do that?

Image courtesy saintbob, used under a Creative Commons license.