What does your art say about you? How do you translate yourself on the page or screen? According to artist and designer han castanedo (they/she/he), when you can answer those questions you’ll be able to define your own point of view as a creator. castenedo brings all parts of her life to her craft. Former Welter staffer Kandice Wilson reports.
1. Explore Color
Working with a variety of color palettes can be a great way to not only expand your creativity but gain insight into what colors you gravitate toward. You may find yourself infusing your art with brighter, bolder, or even moodier choices. han is a designer who just happens to be color-blind. She has since channeled that struggle into her approach to design. “Trying a lot of different things is valuable,” she says.
2. Other Disciplines
Who says an artist has to be only an artist? Remember pre-pandemic when you played soccer in that social club? Or what about your love of cars? Draw inspiration from those other parts of yourself. han is particularly interested in physics and reads articles with cool imagery, chart visualization, and 3D models. “I’m pretty technical about it,” she says. Those articles inform her approach to sculptural drawing.
3. Consume a Lot of Art
han says it’s “second nature to look for cool images online.” She suggests consuming a lot of art, whether it’s something you’d normally be attracted to or not. It’s important to have full knowledge of what’s out there and what other designers are doing so you can better envision yourself creating in your own lane. han says that consuming a wide array of art can also help you “build up a repertoire of techniques.” The more you expose yourself to, the more you’re capable of.
4. Explore Your Heritage
Sometimes finding inspiration doesn’t require a Pinterest board or Google search. Sometimes, it just takes looking inside your home, your church, your place of birth. The culture or heritage that you were born into or surround yourself with can be a great source of artistic inspiration. han often finds herself drawing from her Ecuadorian roots. The folk art and flat compositions of the Ecuadorian Quechua people fill han’s artistic cache with her own unique perspective.
5. Take a Break
han finds it especially helpful to take some time to step away from the screen. She suggests rotating hobbies and doing other physical things, like working on her house or getting some exercise. Too much screen time can lead to quicker burnout or even a lack of motivation. Remember that your personal style comes from more than just your eyes and hands; rather, it’s the sum of all your parts.
Visit han castenedo’s website.