I teach principles of art-making, and there’s one overarching idea that connects them all — the idea of differences. Big shapes, small marks, bright color, value contrast—all these exciting differences bring life to your art. However, something less obvious is the secret to making genuinely authentic art, and that’s vulnerability.

Here’s how I think about it…

Vulnerability is the feeling that comes up when we push ourselves into unknown territory, and we need to feel it! When feeling vulnerable, we can’t help but be ourselves, expressing ourselves more tentatively, and authentically. That authenticity is seen and felt in the work, drawing people in. The opposite, of course, is being bold with marks and colors. Bringing this full spectrum of yourself into your art—the confident you and the insecure you—is what connects people to the work without knowing it, but feeling it. Stay aware of this powerful difference and bring it to your art!

Are you aware of being vulnerable in your art-making? Let me know in the comments.

In this week’s Art2Life Podcast, I share a story of an extremely challenging but ultimately gratifying event in my life that taught me so much about how our own vulnerability deeply connects us to others. I hope you’ll join me and share it with a friend that might find it helpful!

Click here to listen to and subscribe to the Art2Life Podcast.

Have a fun studio day!


PS Check out the Free Art2Life Artists Facebook Group. Every day, artists from all over the world are creating amazing art, and you are invited!

Photo: Cottonbro