Building your own art collection can be a fulfilling and exciting endeavor, but where do you start? In this post, I’ll guide you through the process of choosing a theme or subject matter that will drive your collection forward.
When I was figuring out the theme for my latest collection Nature Spirit, I began by listing everything I was interested in, including travel, culture, architecture, fairytales, spirituality, nature, and the environment. I paid attention to what excited me the most at that moment. I envisioned how these themes could be visualized through portraits, landscapes, animals, and plants—the subjects I loved to draw. Ultimately, I discovered a throughline that connected humans, nature, and spirit—a theme that excited me and allowed me to explore while keeping some consistency in my style. I genuinely loved the process from planning to creation, which kept me inspired and motivated.
So how do you find your own theme?
Understand the Essence of a Collection
Before we dive into choosing a theme, let's understand what makes a collection. A collection is a cohesive body of work that shares a common theme, subject, or style. Each piece in the collection has a purpose and a place within a larger narrative. A collection can encompass various mediums and styles, from paintings and drawings to sculptures and installations.
Follow Your Passions and Curiosities
Choosing a theme for your collection should be driven by what genuinely excites and interests you. It could be a meaningful message you want to share or simply a topic you're curious to explore further. Your theme should provide room for you to express your vision, voice, and style authentically.
Allow the Journey of Discovery to Unfold
You don't need to have a grand concept or a fully formed idea right from the start. Often, creators begin with a mere inkling and follow the thread as they progress. Embrace the fact that you may not know the final destination yet. The journey itself will unfold as you uncover new insights, reflect, adapt, and evolve.
Generating Theme Ideas
If you're still in the brainstorming phase, here are some suggestions to get your creative juices flowing:
- Subjects of Interest: Consider exploring topics such as nature, landscapes, seasons, animals, still life, childhood memories, or things that evoke joy.
- Passionate Causes: Delve into themes related to culture, time periods, social justice issues, environmentalism, sustainability, or mental health.
- Fun Explorations: Explore pop culture by depicting your favorite celebrities, TV shows, or movies. Experiment with different styles, colors, abstract art, mixed media, patterns, or typography.
Embrace the Excitement and Playfulness
In this initial step of choosing a theme, remember to have fun and let your creativity flow. Take the time to ideate and explore your interests. Look for inspiration in your latest readings, shows, and experiences. Distill these influences into what you genuinely want to explore in your collection.
Your collection is a reflection of your artistic journey. So, let your passion and curiosity be your guiding forces as you embark on this delightful adventure. Start building your art collection today with these key takeaways for choosing a theme that will drive your collection forward.
For more in-depth guidance and inspiration, you can watch my class "Create A Collection" where I share my process and tips for building a cohesive art collection.