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Blog of Robert Davis Hoffmann on TlingitArt.com

5 Things To Help Improve as an Artist in Northwest Coast Formline Design

Books on Northwest Coast Native Formline

Many people are drawn to our Northwest Coast Formline style, understandably. It's got a unique elegance.For some, it's not enough to admire, they wish to learn how to create their own work in this style. If that's you, hopefully this post will be helpful.

Non-Natives should be aware that our clans have what is considered at'.oow (sacred clan emblems). Please be respectful, and become more educated on the issue of cultural misappropriation.

1. Find a Mentor

Tlingit art has been handed down through an apprenticeship system. This is still the best way to learn.  Apprenticeships are fun as well as rewarding, Check out Alaska Council on the Arts Grants to Individual Artists

2. Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice. Practice the basics, the formline elements: Ovoid, 'U' shapes, and their endless variations. Save Your Work. Keep a sketch diary. Date your entries so you can look back on your progress. Trace. There's nothing wrong with tracing; it helps you get used to drawing shapes correctly. Kinesthetic learning.

3. Build a Library

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