When I get asked for feedback on an artists piece I generally look at it through specific filters. Art has so many dimensions and so many theoretical ways to be viewed and dissected. Truth is I like to simplify it into 4 easy to understand and apply elements.
I think well appreciated artwork has balance. A balance of colour, a balance of light, a balance with proportion, a balance with size, a balance with subject and background. The list could go on, but I feel that balance, when looking at an artwork is felt, more than understood.
You can look at a piece and it be out of balance and you know it.
You just know it and the harmony of what has been made hasn’t reached its potential.
A big one I find is that sports digital designers don’t align their artwork to achieve balance. For no reason the subject is to the right, left, top or bottom and it leaves the artwork out of sync and out of balance. I’m not suggesting that you have to centre your subject every time, but with all the elements, their needs to be harmony. If you don’t know anything about the rule of thirds, that maybe something to google.
Ask yourself, is there balance in this artwork I have just created? Do all the pieces work well together. Does everything look in place? These are all real questions I ask myself when making artwork.
Contrast helps entertain your viewer. By utilising dark and light you have the opportunity to create depth. This is important. Blacks, shadows, highlights, whites, they all play a massive part in your composition (the thing you just made) and creating contrast in your art work is really important.
This is more than just turning up the “contrast” level on your piece. You have the opportunity to colour your blacks and whites to work together, or fight each other, depending on the theme of your piece. This helps create entertainment for the viewer.
Ask yourself, have I utilised contrast enough in this artwork? Can I tough up parts to create more depth, more brightness, helping you engage your viewer for a longer experience of your artwork?
- Eye travel.
I think I may have made this up. Maybe not. I cant remember where this term came from, but it doesn’t make it any less important.
In a world of swiping and your artwork being viewed for a potential 2 seconds, its important to understand the element of eye travel and why taking your viewer on a visual journey in your artwork is extremely important.
What is in your artwork that makes a viewer look longer? I’m not talking about creating chaos for the viewer to sift through like a where’s Wally book, but more so, what little details are added to your artwork to give it reason to hold people’s attention?
It is an engagement of the sub conscious with the hope to engage with the viewer for a longer amount of time.
If you are wanting to work in the sports digital design industry it is something that makes potential employees focus on you on someone else. If you put enough in, they will notice.
Back that with “Simple is best” attitude. I’m not suggesting you flood your artwork with an overwhelming about of elements that don’t make sense. Remember, balance. I have felt myself become more simple in my approach, and focussing on creating a few fantastic elements in each piece, rather than lots of pointless elements just to look busy.
Why are you creating this piece? What’s the point? Seriously, why did you make your last piece? There are a few reasons why I create:
Yay! Work, being paid to create. The dream right? Yeah…it kinda is. If its your passion to create sports art and be paid for it, then work is a goal to have. There are plenty of posts I do to share recent work for recent clients
Join the conversation
This is the drive for most sports designers. They create artwork based around real time events, results, experiences and share their opinion or creative expression on what is happening. This is great for exposure and injecting yourself into the social conversation.
You may have seen me branding my work on social media as “Personal Development” pieces. This is because I want to be clear on why I am posting and allowing people to see my journey. Every Saturday I try to create 4 pieces for the week. All different, female, male, different sports, different styles. I like to be a mixed bag of Doritos. So I post them with the description that my purpose is development. Sometimes I get lots of engagement, sometimes it flops. Either way, I am winning because I am developing.
Another question I ask when giving feedback is “Why is _______ doing _______?” or Why is ____________ in the artwork?” If you can’t answer why something is in your piece, maybe question if it should be there. There should be purpose to why you have made the decision to create your artwork, and also the question of why you have included specific elements in your artwork.
So, lots to think about, but hopefully this helps you see your artwork in a new light and helps you in making decisions around what makes your artwork fantastic.