Thursday, April 30, 2009

What is Your Favorite Subject Matter?

Katherine Tyrrell recently conducted a poll on her blog, Making a Mark, regarding artist's favorite subject matter.

Here are the results of the poll for which 173 responded.

24% Portraits/Figures
18% Scenes-landscapes/urban/interiors
16% Animals/wildlife
15% Anything and everything
12% Flowers/Botanical art
8% Still life
5% Conceptual/symbolic
3% Narrative (main-focus, story)

Katherine Terrell's analysis of the polls:

Portraits / Figures are the most popular subject for artwork. Around a quarter of the artists like drawing and painting people and figures best of all.

Add in animals/wildlife and creating portraits of living beings accounts for some 40%of respondents

The second most popular subject are scenes - whether these are landscapes, urban scenes or scenes of interiors - 18% prefer 'the big picture'.

People whose favourite subject is Animals and/or wildlife accounted for 16% of the responses.

In the middle of the poll, we find that 15% of the artists like to draw and paint anything and everything. This figure could have been a lot bigger. However I rather suspect that some of who tend to draw or paint more than one subject had to make a decision about whether we said we genuinely had no preference (ie anything and everything) or whether we did have a favourite.

Drawing or painting flowers or producing botanical art attracted 12% of the poll - which is 50% more than the number who voted for still life as being their favourite subject (8%)

Only 5% are motivated by ideas and involved in the development of conceptual or symbolic art. I'd expect to get a much higher percentage than this if I was asking full time professional contemporary artists. I'm wondering whether this very low percentage is because most readers of my blog are people who don't routinely produce art based on an idea.

Even fewer (3%) had any sort of narrative commonly running through their art.

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