So this thing happened recently.

You know. That thing. About that social media platform. That one thing that caused everyone to consider whether they should leave that social media platform and join another.

That thing!

It is best if I don’t become specific about this because it will happen again on another social media platform. And people will contemplate leaving that platform.

Because social media platforms change, and all the time you invest in it will eventually have been for naught.

Here’s an idea: get off social media entirely. It will be better for your mental health and your productivity.

Listen to podcast episodes through this page I created. It just selects podcast episodes for you so you can go on drawing.

Or, go outside. And visit a museum! And that leads us nicely into:

Museums can be huge. And that’s great! But I can only really concentrate and take in new information for two hours or so.

There’s a reason movies are seldomly longer than two hours. This has implications for how we artist can make the best use of a museum visit.

What ends up happening, if I don’t prepare for this, is that I see the first part of what’s on exhibit in the museum, and then glance over the rest.

What I rather like to do instead is walk through the exhibitions quickly and decide which works I want to study more closely today—because the thing is I can always return!

And then I slow down and study these, really looking at them, trying to notice things, what works, what doesn’t, intentionally or not, what the artist’s intent was, how I think she approached things, and if there are ideas or approaches I can use.

Maybe I make sketches and studies in my sketchbook even.

Nowadays, I also take photos of art in the public domain so that I can do an extended drawing session at home where I peel apart the work of art and use it as a reference for drawing to understand better why it works.

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This is not the only way to enjoy a museum, for sure! You can also enjoy it the way it was meant by the museum curators and the artists on exhibit.

The Punta Della Dogana in Venice showcases the work from Pineault’s collection in his museum there. The art and the way it is presented is all very loud and almost like going to a fair, which is, to be honest, the function of many museums: visual spectacle to walk through, which is fine! That is okay. That place does not hold a lot of art that is of interest to me as a reference, but frankly, it is exciting to walk through.

Conceptual art can also be worth your time. I saw video art in the Centre Pompidou where the artist Iván Argote, then nominated for the Prix Marcel Duchamp 2022, had created replicas of statues celebrating colonialism. He had then hired cranes to lift these replicas and carry them around through cities, anticipating that it is what will, and has to, happen in the future. It makes you wonder why we still have these celebrations of colonialism up.

It is also fun to watch people. I had a fun experience seeing the Alice Neel exhibition during the same visit to the Centre Pompidou. She painted people like they were without trying to make them look more beautiful. She must have stood close to her models; they were often cut off or barely fit into the painting, and there was strong perspective. This was also clear because you could see that there was an interaction between the painter and the model.

The models seemed sad, but they often just had blank faces, probably because they had already sat there for so long, posing, and lost the energy to put up a fake facial expression. When I sat down to look around, I noticed that the visitors had the same blank look on their faces! It was as if the subjects of these paintings were walking around and looking at paintings of themselves—art as a mirror.

A visit to The Musée des Arts Décoratifs gave me ideas for the design of my website. Et cetera.

There are many ways a visit to an art museum can inspire you.

When my brain is fried after two hours, I can still walk through the rest of the museum and enjoy all the beauty. But I paid attention to the things I wanted to pay attention to when my brain was still fresh.

You don’t have to do the same thing, of course, but it is a good idea to consider that museums are too big to take in during one visit. Otherwise you’ll just only see what happens to be at the beginning of the exhibit.

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