Establishing Your Creative Philosophy...

Great artists have philosophies, but what are they?

First let's establish that creativity is a category of philosophy, psychology, and culture, expressing the most important meaning of human activity, consisting in increasing the diversity of the human world in the process of cultural migration.

Creativity drives progress in every human endeavor, from the arts to the sciences, business, and technology. We celebrate and honor people for their creativity, identifying eminent individuals, as well as entire cultures and societies, in terms of their creative achievements.

Art philosophy is a personal expression of careful observation of the subject and the artist's visceral and emotional response to what they see and experience. Successful artists think visually which means seeing the painting in their minds before they paint it.

Five Philosophies of Art (Theories of Art)

  • Imitationalism

  • Formalism

  • Emotionalism

  • Instrumentalism

  • Institutionalism

"Sweet Chemical Angst" by Matthew R. Paden

My philosophy for my current series, "Famous Faces" fits into imitationalism and was to reconnoiter the relentless credo of pop-culture, and the emotional reminiscence of celebrity icons from decades past; leaving only a sense of decadence, and the chance of a new understanding as momentary derivatives become frozen through emergent, and various exercise, the viewer is left with a subtle clue to cultures that are fading away.

"Sweet Chemical Angst," pictured is my version of lead vocalist, Axl Rose of "Guns n' Roses" often abbreviated GNR is an American hard rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1985 when they signed to Geffen Records.

I was able to accomplish this rather daunting series of twenty-one portraits over the past two years by juxtaposing representational with the fluidity, and vulnerability of Spontaneous Realism.

Spontaneous Realism, is a contemporary form of abstract art created from a realistic image using various color schemes, brush strokes and other additives that are not present in the original realistic image. In other words, the image is re-created in a less detailed way using an unnatural color scheme.

To learn for about my "Famous Faces" series please view my site at

Be empowered. Creativity is a vehicle of self-expression and part of what makes us who we are. Professional, high-level artists are philosophical by their very nature about the purpose of their creative visions, and maybe even over philosophical, but even non-professional artists who may be considered more hobbyist inevitably reveal some philosophical thoughts behind their work - why?

Perhaps to heighten understanding and appreciation, or simply its the intuitive nature of the right-brain. Right-brain people are creative, emotional, and instinctual thinkers who are expressive in their chosen form of communication.

Rising from a momentary impulse without conscious reflection, the process of creating art is simply the process of applying whatever philosophy (or philosophies) you’re working under at that moment in your medium of choice. Art is at its core simply a decision, but in order to make that decision; you must have a direction. Even deciding to be as directionless as possible is in its self a direction.

In order to make a decision and create something that has a purpose, you need a foundation to wield within. It doesn’t have to be fully formed concept when you start, but it should become clearer as you make progress on the project.

Throughout history, people have defined art in many ways. One modern definition is “something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful.”

Imagination plays a key role in making any piece of art. In its broadest sense, art is a form of communication. It means whatever the artist intends it to mean, and this meaning is shaped by the materials, techniques, and forms it makes use of, as well as the ideas and feelings it creates in its viewers. Art is an act of expressing feelings, thoughts, and observations and its vital because it can influence society by changing opinions, instilling values and translating experiences across space and time. Research has shown art affects the fundamental sense of self. Painting, sculpture, music, literature and the other arts are often considered to be the repository of a society's collective memory.

#savvypalette #thesavvyartist #artphilosophy #artconcept #ideasofart #beinganartist #understandingart #artistthoughts


The Savvy Artist

Starting my artistic journey in 1997, the desire to create art that I attained soon became an unyielding obligation to myself to explore the inner mechanism of my creative consciousness.


From small sketches to large scale projects, my art is a highly-personal reflection of myself.

I’ve been lucky enough to have participated in many collaborative projects, as well as exhibiting in a solo capacity, which has solidified my reputation in the art world.


If you would like to find out more about my process, get in touch.

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