Creativity - Expand your Artist Mind!

Creativity is one of the most important skills for an artist. Everyone has the ability to create something in one form or another - from gardening, drawing, painting and sewing to architecture, interior design, writing and fashion there is more to being creative than just art and literature. The hard thing for us to do is to get in touch with our natural processes spontaneously. Some people find this a struggle, not even recognizing the natural process inside themselves. So how can we enhance what we don't know we have, or find it almost impossible to tap into even if we do recognize it?

What is Artistic Creativity?

It is what an artist - whatever their field - uses to turn the mundane and ordinary into beautiful, vivid works that excite the mind. It is the inspiration we use to add color to black and white photos. The details that bring a sketched person look alive instead of an inanimate object.

Some people feel that they are at their artistic peak when they are under pressure, but the latest research has shown the opposite to be true. Research shows less work is created during high peak stress times, yet creators feel that they are "more" capable during that time (Teresa Amabile, 2002). So what they feel they are doing and what they are actually accomplishing are quite opposite! When you see something that strikes you as unique, beautiful, or fascinating, choose that moment to sketch it. Finish it up later with the moment in mind, unless you have the luxury of staying there - creating the work from the point of inspiration.

How to Access it

Many times original thought is triggered by an event, an emotion, an experience, or a memory. The triggered idea may begin a piece of work, but the end result may not be what you originally started out with. This will lead to new avenues, and you should be comfortable in letting your inspiration flow. Allow it to fuel your project and lead you into new unexpected (and exciting areas) of your work.

If you manipulate and try to control your work, it may become forced and uninspired. Allow it to move and flow on its own, using your creative intuition, not your analytical mind. Do not think about each step as you are working, just feel it.

When doing a pencil drawing, I let the paper sit for as long as I need to, before feeling the urge to "put pencil to paper". I begin moving the pencil over the paper - sometimes with contour drawing of a chosen form or object, and sometimes letting the paper itself be my contour. I never let time rush me through my original thoughts, which graphic artists or hired illustrators cannot do.

When someone is paying you for a piece of commissioned art work, you simply do not have the luxury of making something at your fullest potential. You are making something, but within tight boundaries - their time restraints, their ideas which you are doing, and their ideas on the finished product.

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