Many people would like to express themselves creatively but lack the confidence or just don’t know where to start. Others don’t even realize they have their own unique creativity to express. And some people are actively creative people and are just looking for more ways to express themselves. Whatever the case may be, I believe all people can benefit from creative self expression and that everyone has their own creative gifts that can benefit the world. I’ve been making art since I was a kid, took art classes in high school, and was eventually trained to be an artist at university. I’ve been taught all kinds of techniques and mediums and ways of working. It wasn’t until after graduating with an art degree though that I really developed my own creative process. This process is what has worked for me and has led to my creating (and even selling) many pieces of original artwork that I love and am proud of. Here is my process:
1. Choose a medium of choice: paint, crayons, pencil, collage, fabric and sewing machine, yarn and loom, musical instruments, clay, wood, found objects, or any other materials you’d like to work with.
2. Start creating with out a big goal for the outcome, no particular image or end product in mind, perhaps a small idea to get started like certain colors or shapes, allow these to change throughout if it feels right.
3. Go with the flow, let whatever comes out come out, there are no mistakes. The next step in the piece of art is always the thing that feels right, perhaps it needs something blue over in the lower right corner, or a swirl over on the left. Whatever your creation is calling for is what you give it.
4. Realize that at some points throughout the process you may decide you don’t like what you are creating. Continue creating anyway. This is a normal part of the process. In the process of pretty much every creation I make there is a point where I don’t really like what I am creating anymore. Usually I start out inspired, start creating something I like, and eventually grow to hate it or at the very least feel annoyed and doubtful about what is developing. But if you continue to work through the part of the process where you feel doubtful you will eventually come up with something you really like.
5. If you feel tired or really frustrated or just don’t know what the next step is, it is time to take a break and do something else and come back to it later or another day with fresh eyes. Stepping away from it for a bit allows the next step to become apparent when you come back to it later.
6. The final step: finishing. It is complete when it FEELS like it is done.
Tip: If there is something that really bothers you about your creation it is best to go back and fix it, even if it will take a bit of time. If you don’t, it will forever drive you mad!