Choosing Your Artistic Medium: Zachary Aronson

Are you an artist still grappling with what artistic medium to pursue? Some of us know we are creative, yet we struggle to find a way to express ourselves. Watching as other people pursue their dreams, envious of their artistic expression can feel kinda- depressing. Everyone has a dream but only some of us have found a way to channel it into a talent. So, how can we find our inspiration and then channel it into something artistic? 


Zachary Aronson is a successful freelance artist willing to give us his take on choosing a medium. So, how did Zach get where he is today? “I’ve spent my entire life focused on my art. I’ve been creating ever since I was five years old.” Zach explains, “My innovations and discoveries that have led me to where I am in my career today are a byproduct of that dedication.” To clarify, you don’t have to have been dedicated since you were a child to be artistic, but you do have to set some time aside for the craft of your choice. The more time you set aside, the bigger the payoff. 

Choosing a Medium

How does one go about choosing a craft that will coincide with their creative spirit? “ I just happened to find my current medium by accident, Zach explains. “I showed up to class unprepared and just made do with what I had, which was wood and a torch.” Zach has developed the art form of pyrography and continues to push this medium, claiming that fire is unlike any other tool or medium. As he continues to improve, it still feels new, implementing new techniques and mastering them.  

Zach elaborates, “This process of 2D or 3D art is immediate and tactile, and I am constantly working at it. I get in the zone and am really in it, until it’s done. Whereas other mediums really take me out of that. For instance, with painting, you have to wait for the medium to dry before you can continue to add details. One medium takes months and the other takes a few hours, but I like to go at it nonstop.” So, choose your medium based on the style that suits you and by the length of time. 

Stick With It

Try choosing something that you think you can stick with. “Another interesting thing about pyrography and stone carving is that they are subtractive mediums. You are taking something away rather than adding to it, Zach explains. “There are more consequences that way. Once it’s gone, you can’t put it back. I enjoy that part of the process.” Because Zach has a continued interest in his work, he is able to refine his skills.

“I now have a general understanding of how the wood will react to fire based on the grain, however, I’m still sometimes surprised at which areas burn faster,” he explains.”The entire process is very immediate and instinctual. There’s no formula. It’s all a matter of spontaneous decisions.”  Somehow the pieces are still consistent.  

You’ll Feel It 

Art can help us express an array of emotions, but it can also feel very calming and natural. Once you find your medium, it might feel as though you are more grounded when you are creating. Zach concurs, “Introducing an element that transforms a material into something else feels very organic. It’s’ like a collaboration with nature. I’m not imposing anything.” Before he starts, there are already various patterns occurring in the wood. “Based on that, I weave in and out of the wood grain,” He continues, “This might influence my decision as to where to start - maybe the eye, the nose, the mouth.” You’ll likely know when you’ve found the best way to express yourself. Zach ends by saying, “I know in my mind that I have the tools I need. I don’t need a conscious plan. I can trust that it’s happening. I don’t have to really think about it.” 

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