How I Make Art

I have been thinking about the creative process: how I come up with ideas and what creating art means to me.

I think there are three varieties of creative spark that work for me:

  1. Meditative – these are art works where I start with a blank page and just let the art decide the way. Examples of this are Suffocation City Shadow and Creation
  2. Experimentation – This is where I am playing with art materials just for fun an eg. Blue River
  3. End in sight – Sometimes an idea just comes to me. I have an idea of what I want to end up with so I work towards it. The original idea could be sparked by a set theme, as in my entry for the In Praise of Shadows T-shirt Comp, but sometimes it is almost like receiving a vision – I see the artwork in my minds eye and that is what I want to capture.

Of course this makes it all sound a bit mystical or something, but really it is just getting the paper and pens/paints/pencils out and working. I do think sometimes that a meditative state comes over me particularly when I have been scribbling away and then suddenly everyone is going to bed, turning out lights and I realise I have been drawing for 3 hours and hmmm now I notice how cramped my hand is and I have been gripping the pen so tight that there are pins and needles when I let go.

After times like those I am euphoric afterwards I feel like I have suddenly created the best artwork I have ever done. Of course, looking at it in the cold light of day next morning doesn’t always reaffirm this feeling!!

But there are other things that go into my art. Sometimes I improve them with image editing programs like the GIMP or Inkscape. But a lot of the time I like the traditional artworks as they are.

Lately I have been playing with my camera, but I don’t really know what I am doing with it yet. However I think that meditative quality comes in there too. I spent last Sunday afternoon wandering about Melbourne in a dream like state just taking photos of skyscrapers and buildings. I love the lines of buildings I look up at them and my heart sings. Pity most of the shots came out no good though.

So I guess art is in a lot of ways relaxation for me.

Journal Comments

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