The creative process

I’m always amazed when I look back at my sketchbooks, how some
shape or line permeates its way into my present work. I keep
thinking, “gee, how original” and yet there it was. We can’t
create work in a vacuum. Everything we see comes back at us in
some way or another. Even the artist that reproduces another
persons work will always put his or her mark on their work. It
could be as subtle as how the thick the paint was applied, or in
metalwork, how the blow of a hammer was struck.

I was encouraged by some very smart people in developing an
extensive sketchbook. It has photographs from magazines, poetry,
graphitti I find on bathroom walls, strange ideas and thoughts.
I find something in a magazine and tape it, sketch it and
resketch it several times. What did I find that struck me so?
My sketchbooks are filled with color and ideas. I carry it
everywhere with me. I doodle on pads while talking on the phone
and put those in my sketchbook.

Often I make paper models of what I put down on 2D. Then the
piece starts to take shape. Sometimes I make it in clay.

What I love about artists is the different approaches to the
creative process.

I’m curious. How do you all conceptualize an idea?

Karen Christians

  I'm curious.  How do you all conceptualize an idea?
I often  draw  during meetings and sometimes something evolves

from that. Sometimes I start with an interesting pattern or
shape of stone, trace around it ten or so times on a sheet of
paper (usually scrap) and try to develop a design that utilizes
the patterns or shapes. I also find shapes and parts on the
benchtop that assemble into things. The best of all is just
between being awake and asleep, I will spontaneously develope a
three dimensional shape including the order in which steps
should be done. I do not try to make a living at this so I have
great freedom with the things that I make. This also makes it
easy to be non-productive at times.

Marilyn Smith

I’m curious. How do you all conceptualize an idea?

About the same way as you: keeping a sketchbook near by when
looking through magazines and books and sketching something I see
that I like, an idea that is interesting, a good solution for an
incomplete idea. I do not bring my sketchbook with me
everywhere, but I usually make sure I have a pen and when I see
something or an idea pops into my head (happens a lot when I’m
driving) I will sketch it on a scrap piece of paper or the back
of my hand if necessary and transfer it to my sketchbook when I
get home. A really fruitful time for me is when I can’t fall
asleep (especially when due to too much caffiene. Lots of ideas
and solutions start popping into my head and I get up and start
drawing, or else I lose them by the time I wake up.

The recurring themes that I can’t shake are the ones that end up
as jewelry. And for custom projects I sit down and brainstorm in
my sketchbook, make a finished drawing of the best ideas and show
it to the customer. The brainstorming is helped by flipping back
in the sketchbook and picking ideas from past drawings.

Interesting topic, Karen. Can’t wait to see what else comes up.


Karen - I, too, carry a snall sketch book everywhere I go.
Often, I will see a shape on a billboard or menu that I want to
remember. I used to believe that I would remember - but, alas, I
usually don’t. I kept many sketch books years ago when I was a
fiber person, and I often find that I have repeated a shape or
form that I had woven years ago. It has made me very aware of
how much we store away in the computer we call a brain!!! Keep
drawing!! Gini