It’s a big fat can of worms stuffed inside a truck packed to the brim with cans of worms. We’re opening the Pandora’s Box of controversial welding subjects. You’re thinking, “What in the world are they talking about? Welding artists aren’t controversial.”
And you’re right, but what makes a “welder” into an “artist” is controversial. So before the comments section becomes a blood bath around what really makes someone an artist, let’s just establish that when we say “artist”, we mean “someone who creates a work piece that they consider to be art.”
Step 1: Get Good
Most welding artists start off in 2 different ways. The first is someone who’s done a lot of art and then takes a crack at welding. The second is someone who’s done a lot of welding and then takes a crack at art. In a very real sense, creating art is just as much a skill as welding.
Artistic skills tend to be more “mental.” They’re the creativity and ingenuity that acts as the soul to your pieces of art. Welding, on the other hand, is more physical (though there is a huge mental aspect as well). What we mean is that welding is the physical vehicle you’ll use to create the masterpieces that your artistic skills think up. In other words, you might have an incredible idea for a project, but if you’re no good at welding, it’ll fall to pieces. Likewise, you might be a master welder but you’ll need artistic skills to develop a vision of what you want to create.
Step 1: Find Your Muse
We know we’ve got two first steps. Because it doesn’t really matter where you start. Some artists spend years honing their skills before they ever create something they consider “art.” Others find their inspiration long before they ever pick up a welding torch.
Finding a muse allows you to develop passion and a specific style. It’s what adds character to your works. A muse doesn’t have to be a long lost love or a deeply troubled past you’re trying to escape. It’s just inspiration. Often it can be as easy as a google image search for “welding art”. Just make sure you’ve got your “safe search” function on because there’s a pretty broad spectrum for what is “art” (unless that’s what you’re going for. We’re not judging).
Also, don’t be afraid to take different parts of inspirations and combine them together. Also, your muse will likely change over time as you develop your skills.
Step 1: Find Your Community
Another step 1?! Yes, because honestly, there’s no real rules in art. The moment someone says “it has to be this way,” some revolutionary artist will go and do the opposite.
Having a community you can ask very specific questions to is one of the best ways to accelerate your skills as a welding artist. While working on art pieces, you’ll often find yourself trying methods, processes or procedures you’ve never done before. It’s a huge help to know where you can ask questions.
There’s also no defined answers in art; No right and wrong. Often the best way to get feedback on your pieces is to ask others how they feel. It definitely takes a fair bit of thick skin. These pieces are your babies and it’s hard sending them to what may seem like a slaughterhouse. But it’s also one of the best ways to improve your techniques and really discover what parts of your work people relate to the most.
If you’re having trouble finding a physical community of artists, you might want to try an online community instead. For instance, the ArtMetal community or Facebook groups like Welding Fabrication Metal Art.
Ultimately the journey of becoming an artist is just as unique and personal as the pieces you create. While there’s no “welding artist bible,” these three steps can help you find a foothold to get started. If you’re looking for a post with more in-depth content on the different techniques used in welding art, click the button below!