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LET'S TRY SOMETHING NEW

Niki Pilkington

I wanted to talk to you about the importance of trying something new. Now this doesn’t only apply to you if you’re an artist, I really think this applies to pretty much everyone that’s wanting to freshen things up a bit & keep their work / life more interesting.

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I posted this picture last week so I’m going to give you a little backstory. It came from a place where I’d been back in the UK (for a lot longer then planned) getting orders done for my stockists over there (FYI I added a couple of new ones - check out my shop tab to see). I was without access to my materials / studio, nor did I have the time to create new work for the best part of a month - these restocking times are always quite intense. *Don’t get me wrong, I love these times - I LOVE putting orders together & catching up with all my loyal stocksts & getting lots of much needed family time, it’s just not easy to get on with any crafty bits when I’m there because I’m packing prints & fulfilling orders from start to finish* I got back to LA a little lost, with a million ideas running around my head but no clue where to start. I knew I didn’t want to put pencil to paper for a crazy detailed piece, I was feeling too restless for that, so instead I looked for a different kind of canvas, which brought me to my arm!! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed painting this - not only the playful technique of painting like a kid on my skin, but more so the feeling of the unknown, not having a clue what it was going to turn out like. It’s fair to say this won’t be my last body painting experience, think I’ve found the best release for me for the times when I’m feeling stuck. I’m hoping this post will inspire you to find your escape too. Maybe not body paint, but something a little different to the thing that’s making you feel stuck.

The hardest part of social media for me is trying to keep things interesting for my followers (& me!!) & for any newbies that come along, whilst also trying to stay honest & true to my values & what I love. It’s easy to get complacent & keep churning out the same things (especially if they perform well & people enjoy them each time they pop up in their feed), but that just isn’t what i’m in this social media game for. One of the biggest advantages I have being my own boss is that every now & again, when my schedule allows, I get to give something new a go.  

For me, trying something new doesn’t have to necessarily mean drawing something new either. It can be as simple as working from a different place, meeting someone new that does something I’m inspired by, walking a different route home or shopping in a new art store (my personal fave). Any of these things can be enough to light a little fire within me that pushes me in a new direction. A direction that I might only give one shot,  but at least I gave it a shot & learnt something from it along the way. 

I’m not really one for hobbies because I’m crazy lucky to say that my job is my true ‘hobby’ - that’s not to say I don’t enjoy other things out of that, but when people ask ‘what do you do to relax / fun, I’m kind of embarrassed to say, ermmmm drawing! This can also mean it’s difficult to switch off & get caught up in a pretty bad work / life balance. When it comes to my art, my heart lies in drawing girls, all kinds of girls in all kinds of ways, but I step away from this & probably spend 50/50 of my time doing this & trying something new or working on commissions. This (I hope) is what keeps my art looking fresh, but also has my neon stamp on it. It means I’m always excited to get back to drawing what I love, but have the advantage of adding a few other skills to my arty belt. 

 

So I urge you to give it a go - try something totally new for you. You never know, it might be your new fave. & why not share what you’ve tried out in a comment below so we can all discuss it & give each other suggestions & advice? I’d love to hear what you’re trying out & hope I can learn from you guys too.  

 Thanks for reading & as always, let me know what you’d like me to blog about next

XO