Creative Sparks

Make Your Mark as an Artist!

by | May 2, 2024 | Creative Sparks, Inspired Creativity

I’ve come across this term “making marks” quite a few times recently as I’ve been dabbling more in the world of two-dimensional visual art.

I’ve told you about my occasional forays this year into illustrated journaling, which has provided a fun and helpful entry point on some days and breaks up some of my usual journal writing habits.

And I shared that I took on my own 30-day, index-card-a-day challenge in March which was fun and gave me daily bursts of creative play in a doable way. Plus, I wound up with this interesting, colorful stack of cards at the end.

Most recently, I’ve discovered Sketchbox. For $25 a month, they send me a sampling of art materials and a short instructional video on how to use them. Oh my gosh, it’s like having a birthday every month. Super fun!

But back to our topic today: Making marks. I love this idea that what we’re up to as 2-D visual artists is simply making marks on a page or canvas. It demystifies the process and makes it less intimidating.

Anyone can make a mark. Then, how about trying a different kind of mark or seeing how many different kind of marks you can make with one pen, pencil, crayon, oil pastel, brush?

I think of Georgia O’Keefe saying her aim in making art was “to fill space in a beautiful way.” Or maybe just in a pleasing way. Or a fun way. Or an exploratory way.

If I’m just making marks, I can try anything, be simple, experiment. I’m not trying to reproduce a tree or bird necessarily, though I might try that. I’m not trying to make ART. I’m just making marks.

And that leads me to get curious about what kinds of marks I want to make. Big splashy ones or lots of dark lines or scratchy little marks or loop-de-loops. Making marks invites me to be less self-conscious about my belief that “I can’t draw” or that things should look a certain way.

And then I realize that all art is making marks. Whether I’m painting or playing music or dancing or sculpting or making a film or writing a poem. I’m making marks in some medium.

And I’m making my mark upon the world. Not in a grandiose way but in the way an animal might mark a tree or stone to say “I was here. I made this. I felt this. I thought this. I encountered this. I dreamed this.”

So, maybe just trying making some marks today. Any kind. And see where they lead.

Creative Sparks provides tools, guidance and soul inspiration about once a week to help you

Ignite and sustain your creativity • Discover and realize your heart’s true dreams • Live with imagination, joy, and wonder

We are soul-crafting here. Join us!

Subscribe to Creative Sparks!

You'll receive juicy doses of inspiration and ideas to nourish your artful, soulful life.