The creative process of an artist, has been one of mystery in the past. Social media has opened up to us a sea of daily updates, from the lives of our favourite artists. As more of our lives become online, the mystery of the artist’s process, is like the revealing curtain from the Wizard of Oz.
Talent or Hard Work?
One of the many assumptions about an artist’s life, is that we float around day to day, paintbrush in hand. Never truly understanding the gruelling labour of the office worker. Is that true?
What I can tell you, is that there definitely is more to the creative process than most realise. Yes we do get to be our own boss. We can have a coffee break – whenever we like! We can choose the direction our projects go. And most importantly, our can fulfill our passion every day. Which is so meaningful and satisfying ;spoken by a previous gruelling office worker. But whilst those things are pretty wonderful, it’s not just talent that will make you an artist. Being your own boss means that you have to set yourself work. (Trust me, that’s harder than it sounds.) One of you wants to work the 12-hour shift, the other wants to watch netflix and eat crisps.
My Creative Process – 4 Steps
These will be different for every artist. It is an artist’s process which makes their artwork unique. I’d absolutely love to hear about your processes, so make sure you comment yours down below.
A simple idea, starts off an explosion of opportunities. For me, it’s very difficult to reign in, these fragments of possibilities. The idea can stem from colours, something I’ve seen online, social culture, nature. I try and document these ideas as soon as possible. Sketching them down as quickly as possible, taking a photograph, writing a note in my phone, saving ideas to my pinterest boards.
Now I have some inspiration, it’s important to get my creative space ready. Cleaning, tidying, checking supplies. Basically, preparing the path for my creative energy to spill out. If I’m ready for painting, I love to light a candle, play some music that best fits the energy in my piece of work and make sure I have a plenty of drinks around me. (When painting, I won’t interrupt the creative energy, even if I’m dying of thirst.)
This is where fragments of ideas, turn into a solid direction. I might have 8-10 snapshots of references. Now I must decide if, and how I can use these. This part of the process is organic growth, that I lightly steer, like a boat on calm water. It cannot be forced, and it can take minutes to months, a variable that changes with each painting.
Once I have my direction, my creative energy spills out. It doesn’t have to be meticulously planned out. Most of my paintings are referenced on a mood or feeling, rather than an exact reference. Meaning, if I’d painted on a different day – it would have a different outcome. This is a moment of my process, I am still trying to understand myself.
Changing Your Process
Many of these steps feel completely natural to me now. However, when I first started painting, my process was a lot more rigid and desperate. Whilst desperate painting, can create a good piece of art, it sucks out the creative energy, rather than multiplying it. Every month of painting that goes by I learn so much and I’m sure, I hope, that my creative process will develop and advance in ways I don’t yet know.
I try to post daily videos & photos of my process on Instagram stories so if you don’t already watch them, you can follow me @katiejoblingart.
I also wrote a post about My Painting Process where you can see how I put a painting together.