How to Avoid Art Clichés

This video explains what is an art cliché, and how to avoid creating artworks that will be perceived as being cliché. This discussion breaks down how to get past the cliché in order to create artworks that are more thought provoking and unique in their approach. Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Teaching Artists Deepti Menon and Alex Rowe.

Video Walkthrough

  • Identify the cliché, so you can eliminate it, or mess with it!
  • How do you know if your image is a cliché ?
  • A cliché is usually the first, most obvious idea
  • Do a Google image search for your topic to see if it’s a cliché.
  • Clichés for “slow”: snails, road signs
  • Clichés for “death”: skulls, grim reaper
  • Clocks cliché from Dali
  • Broken mirrors cliché for angst
  • Single eye cliché
  • Butterflies & birds cliché
  • Screaming faces cliché
  • Long, winding roads cliché
  • Empty room with a chair cliché
  • Black & white image with a spot of red, especially in films & posters
  • Text to explain the image
  • Fantasy art tropes
  • Poured, splattered, dripping paint
  • Repeated images to show movement
  • Color gradients created with repeated 3D objects

Historical Artists Mentioned

  • Salvador Dalí
  • Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz
  • Vincent van Gogh
  • Andrew Wyeth
  • Gjon Mili
  • Marcel Duchamp
  • Francis Bacon
  • Edvard Munch
  • Vilhelm Hammershøi
  • M.C. Escher

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