Friday, February 11, 2011

What Is Your Creative Method?

My students are all in-process for their projects right now. And, I am excited to share with you their creations. Until that time, I thought I might share with you a little bit about how I create.

Step 1 Inspiration: Life inspires me! I'm fortunate in that I rarely get blocked on creating. In fact, my crutch is that I have a hard time limiting myself. Typically, during this phase I'll work and re-work an idea/concept/item inside my head.

Step 2 Gather Data: During this phase I will take pictures and gather "evidence" of what I want to accomplish and/or gather images from the internet. I love having different angles and viewpoints. I try to stay away from other artistic interpretations of my topic at this point as I am highly influenced by the work of others and I want to keep my work sacred. I usually end up with at least 20 images.

Step 3 Sketch and Re-sketch: If I haven't draw an item before, I'll draw it from different angles to get a feel for the structure. Once I feel I have this "nailed," I'll begin a raw sketch of my concept. I don't worry about composition at all about composition during this phase. I tend to give myself a lot of "rules" when I draw, so I try to use this time and give myself free reign.

Step 4 Composition: I will work and re-work a composition until I am so. far. past. bored. I'm a nut about EXACT composition. I cut items up, scan them, print, move, tape, remove etc. etc.
Finished (I think) composition. Note all the tape!

Step 4 Color Palette: I paint in gouache. Gouache is a water-based paint that is in the watercolor family. But, where watercolor seeps into the paper, gouache stays on top. When you try to layer gouache paint, each following layer "melts" into the layer below. This means, there is very little margin for color error. So, during this phase, I scan the finished composition sketch and develop a color palette. I *might* look at for some ideas and/or design my own palette there. I print the finished palette and tape it and the composition to my wall for easy viewing.
color palette example from a book cover I'm currently working on.

Step 5 Transfer: I transfer my sketch to smooth Bristol paper.

Step 6 Paint: I paint with gouache. This takes a long time because I'm nuts for details.

Step 7 Scan: I scan my finished image. I do rarely "tweak it" as I like to use my original work for scans for commercial items.

Step 8: Store: I store all my work in a drawer, in a closet, away from UV light. I store each piece between two pieces of archival tracing paper.

I'm always curious to know how others work. What is YOUR creative method?

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