The Yin/Yang, Old West Approach To Impressing At Art Contests

Posted on: 26 April 2016

Winning a student art contest is not easy. No specific formula exists to guarantee any outcome. Tried and true ways capable of increasing the chances for being considered for top placement do, however, exist. Embodying the traits of innovation and creativity certainly help participants shine at art contests. The example of applying the yin/yang model of philosophy to old west artwork provides some insights into how to achieve maximum creativity and catch the attention of judges.

Yin/Yang Defined

Yin and yang theory, a concept found in Zen philosophy, is often thought to represent polar opposites. This is not accurate. Yin and yang "combine in a complementary manner and form a method for explaining relationships between objects." Such a theory can be employed as a vehicle for developing numerous intriguing artistic creations. Pondering on the following approach could help with coming up with one's own unique yin/yang-influenced artwork.

Develop a Yin/Yang Theme

Allow the basic theme of an art contest to serve as the yin and come up with an opposing but complementary yang. Certain popular contests are rooted in a celebration of history. Using the past as yin allows the present to reflect the yang principles. Combining images from the old west with modern technology would be one approach. A traditional portrait presenting classic old west imagery becomes very eye-catching after distinctly present day images are weaved into the mix.

Add Diverse Images

In an old "one-horse town", a stagecoach drawn by horses could be headed out of town while a modern hybrid SUV could be headed into town. The two images are connected together in the sense they are both modes of transportation. This is the yin connecting them. The yang element is reflected in their obvious time period differences,

Combine Art Styles

The yin/yang motif can be further drawn out by depicting the older images in classical oil paint and the modern ones in photo art. The distinction between the past and the present becomes even clearer and does so in a unique way. This strategy has potential as judges would have a hard time overlooking artwork that goes outside of standard stylistic conventions.

Maintain Artistic Order

The town should contain interesting and diverse images, but not so many the imagery becomes overloaded. Avoid cluttering the page with too many disparate images as this would undermine coherency. Perhaps the present-day images should compose only one-third of the page. This way, the unique images stand out in interesting contrast to the yesteryear backdrop.  The artwork ends up looking good, a trait that definitely helps the cause of winning a contest.