Have you heard of the quote, “behind a great art is a great artist, and behind a great artist is another great artist?” This quote is very much true to its saying because all art created by any artist at some point drew their inspiration from another artist. Art, by nature, is imitation, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we should copy and plagiarize the work by other painters and alike. What we mean by this is that we should use other artists, the surroundings that we see, and most especially, nature as sources of our creativity and imagination. If you don’t know where to start when you want to create something on a canvas, just look, and you’ll see your vision eventually. Creating artworks is not easy all the time - we need mentors and guidance to show us the path, to give us a clear vision, and to motivate us to never stop trying, creating, and experimenting. With these, we know that at some point, all artists experience a creative block which is normal. Moreover, for beginners, some do not know where and how to start and being clueless is normal to begin with. We want to help in your artistic journey so in this article, we will be discussing five inspirational artists to serve as mentors. Let us talk about their life, art styles, and legacies to boost your creative tendencies. Keep on reading if you wanna learn more!
It is preferable to have a mentor to help you through your creative path rather than starting out on your own. Having an artist mentor is a joy, and it's also one of the cornerstones to becoming a competent painter. To have someone to help you improve your skills, constructively criticize your work for the better, and guide you throughout your career is a privilege you should embrace so that you wouldn't get lost. Moreover, having someone to advise you along the way may broaden your horizons, broaden your viewpoint, and offer up new opportunities to establish your name in the art world. Not every ambitious artist can afford to attend art school or take painting workshops to develop their trade. There are, however, various methods to find a mentor who can assist you down the route of becoming a prolific artist.
If you're asking yourself if you really need a painter, consider your circumstances. Not everyone is gonna make it on their own – you know what they say, two heads are better than one. Even the most established artists in history also had mentor/s of their own to help them go through their path. Take Michelangelo for example, two of his greatest mentors were Domenico Ghirlandaio, an Italian Renaissance painter who was known for detailed frescoes as well as decorative elements in different chapels during the Florentine Renaissance. Another of his mentors was Bertoldo di Giovanni, who happened to be a student of Donatello, another great artist of his time. Di Giovanni had a drastic influence on Michelangelo’s sculpture styles.
Leonardo da Vinci:
Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci, and the controversial Salvator Mundi were some of the famous paintings created by the master painter. Da Vinci, throughout his painting career, was not only known for his masterpieces and great contributions during the period of Renaissance, but he was also known for being a master to several apprentices at the young age of 17. Some of the known Renaissance painters who participated in his workshop included Sandro Boticelli and Lorenzo di Credi. To this day, his influence in the art world is still evident because he was simply one-of-a-kind. One of his greatest contributions, perhaps, was the system of putting numbers on a canvas to teach students how to paint with regards to matching colors and corresponding a particular layering in the canvas. This technique is of course known as paint by numbers which we all know and love today.
The name is familiar to abstract expressionists and even representational artists. The man paved the way for unconventionalism and brought the abstract expressionist movement to the mainstream. Jackson Pollock's grandeur stems from his development of one of the most revolutionary abstract techniques in contemporary art history, separating elements of art such as line from color while rendering the boundaries of drawing and painting, and inventing new ways to depict image representation. Pollock dripped, spilled, and poured paint over canvas to evoke the sense of movement in his action and rip paintings, many of which were created during his "poured" era. He investigated subjects such as surrealism through unconscious exploration of the mind, symbolizing Jungian psychology.
Who could forget Andy Warhol and his iconic pop art paintings that make the mundane world more artistic, lively, and colorful? Andy Warhol had a significant effect on the evolution of art history, as well as American society and even the worldwide art industry at large. He pioneered the use of art as a reflection of everyday life, objects, and society, while bringing criticisms to consumer capitalism in the background. Throughout his career, he had the ability to influence the entire art scene by incorporating aspects from his surroundings. He depicted reality in a unique way. His success inspired so many artists, many of which are also known painters such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jeff Koons.
Whether we admit it or not, the art world is a male-dominated industry where even the greatest female artists are overshadowed. Frida Kahlo should never be forgotten because of her massive impact in the art world, particularly in changing the course of a male-focused world. Kahlo is a pop culture icon known for her bold and colorful portraits, particularly her self-portraits, and other artworks that depict nature, the human body, life, and her country's heritage. Not only is she known for being a painter, but she is also a great poet. There are several great lessons from her that we can use to inspire us in creating artworks as well as in the course of our daily lives. Her struggles as a person with disability proves that life might be unpleasant due to some circumstances, yet it is still worthwhile to live. Thus, the suffering we encounter in life may be utilized to inspire and motivate us to create our masterpiece.
Vincent van Gogh:
We have celebrated the life, works, and legacy of Van Gogh plenty of times on this website. Truly, he is one of the most influential and inspirational creative geniuses to ever live. Because of the emotional and psychological effect of his intense use of color and clear, precise brushstrokes, he is often recognized as the best Dutch painter since Rembrandt. During the twentieth century, his art had a huge effect on Expressionism, Fauvism, and early abstraction. His art career during his lifetime may not have been as huge a success as it is today, but this can inspire us to persevere and continue working for our passion. His paintings are now renowned all over the world, and he has motivated many individuals to pursue their aspirations and train tirelessly. Van Gogh is considered as one of the most inspirational artists to serve as mentors because he was motivated to pursue his passion, pushed hard to develop himself, and is one of history's most significant painters.
From all the painters shown in the list, who is your favorite? We hope that these five inspirational artists to serve as mentors become your guide to be more creative. Good luck with your painting journey!