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5 Benefits to Creating a Body of Work for Your Art

breakfast with sergio Mar 19, 2023

In this video, we explore 5 reasons why artists should consider creating a body of work around a specific theme or idea. By doing so, you can develop your artistic voice and style, and attract a dedicated audience. Having a consistent theme can also provide a sense of direction and purpose, helping you stay motivated and productive. Plus, exploring a topic in-depth can lead to creating meaningful, impactful content. If you're an artist looking to enhance your creative output and build a loyal following, watch this video and discover the benefits of creating a body of work around a specific theme or idea.

What is a Body of Work?

 A body of work is a collection or series of artworks that connect to each other in some way or fashion. It is a way to organize your ideas and frame a body of work around those ideas. The focus is the idea, theme, or the connectivity between multiple different works that bring them together into one series.

The principle behind a body of work is unity. This doesn't mean each piece must be in the same style, use the same colors, or even the same techniques. While many elements may vary from piece to piece, there is something that will bring them together. A body of work can be as little as five pieces to as many as 50. It's completely up to you!

Increase Focus and Direction

As artists we get distracted and are motivated by different things. You may go to the studio to work on a specific work of art and get another idea and jump to something else and so on. Many artists struggle with focusing. The answer, have a plan of action. When you are the studio plan on about how many pieces you are going to want in your series and work around that one central idea. 

You now have a vision, an idea, and a means of focus to get it done. 

Develop a Unique Style

Many artists may struggle to develop a unique style, especially beginning career emerging artists. It may be difficult to decide what is yours that people can recognize in your work. Focusing on a body of work will allow you to hone in and work in unison through the idea. As you finish each piece, allow it to give you new ideas for the next one and so on. You may find that it gives you great progression, but it will also be interesting to look back at how your last piece relates to your first piece in the body of work. 

Working in this way makes it easier to work on and perfect a style that is unique to you. With a central idea, no matter the type of art you make, you will better be able to refine what makes your work unique. 

More Show Opportunities

Creating a body of work will give you more of an opportunity to show your work to others because it is now packaged together in a series. It will be easier to find ways to show your work in spaces that want a central idea or theme for the exhibition. Having multiple bodies of work will only create more opportunity. Opportunities may arise in galleries, museums, public installments, pop up shows, and more. 

Increased Artistic Exploration

Sometimes as artists our ideas are too broad. We might sample test a concept in one piece, but not fully get into it before moving on to the next thing. By making art with the idea of creating a body of work, you can allow yourself to dive deeper into the intricacies of a topic. You may find that as you start to explore with one or two pieces, more possibilities will open up. Each piece of art then becomes a result of your research in a way.

Spending the time in the studio to really investigate each piece will get you closer and closer to knowing what you want to speak about with your art. Go deeper, not wider. 

Deeper Engagement with Audience

When you create artwork within a central topic, you are able to bring your audience inside to a deeper conversation. The odds of a viewer connecting with a single piece is not as great as the odds of them connecting with a few pieces out of a larger series. A body of work invites your audience to have a deeper understanding of your art and its message. For you as the artist, it also allows you to speak about the art in more meaningful ways. You can form a narrative of how each piece connects to the next and how the process was from starting the first piece to finishing the last. 

You will now have more content to speak on about your art and its meaning as you put it out into the world. Your audience can then feel closer to you and better understand the value behind your art. 

Now what? 

If you are an emerging artist I hope this convinced you to start thinking about creating a body of work. If you feel stuck or want some extra help, the Art Nxt Level Academy will be hosting an online challenge in the month of April all about creating a body of work from start to finish. 



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