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How do you start an art project?

“I have an individual art project with the theme ‘change’, any ideas where to start, I’m new at this?”
Anonymous on Quora

Step 1: Jot down what want to include the project.

Take out a blank sheet of paper. Quickly scribble words, doodles, and notes. Get everything that you could possibly want to do with your art project and write it down. Once we write things down, it feels real. And you’ll no longer be worried about where to start. Because you will have started!

Fill every bit of white space on the page. For example :

  • Write the word “Change”. Write down any related ideas you think of.
  • Write down the word “Art project” think of what that means to you. What kind of art are you trying to create.
  • Write down the ideas you think might not work.
  • Write down actions involved. “Looking up inspiration”, “Practice sketches”, “Taking photos”.
  • If any images come to your head, doodle a rough version of it.
  • Cross out any ideas that you don’t think are possible or you want to skip

Repeat this process anytime you get stuck or have more ideas.

Step 2: Organize.

You might do this on a computer or on note cards. Separate tasks into verbs:

  • What needs to be done right away?
  • What can be scheduled for a certain day?
  • What can be done and needs other steps before you’re at that point?
  • What would be nice to do, but can be set aside for now?

Step 3: Keep lists and/or collections of reference material.

This is separate from any actions/tasks/verbs

These are some ideas to get started. Take what works for you if anything.

For more ideas on how to organize your project, How do you organize your ideas? 5 Steps and How to Plan and Execute Your Goals: Free Downloadable.

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Brian E. Young

I'm a graphic designer (portfolio), classical pianist and artist in Baltimore, MD. I host the Uncanny Creativity Podcast helping to demystify the creative process and creator of, an online shop for apparel and games. Twitter: @sketchee

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