Thoughts: How I Get Creative

Attachment-1 (51)

Growing up I heard my mom talk quite a bit about different learning styles (we were homeschooled). I’m a visual learner; I find it helpful to also listen (auditory) and do (kinetic) but ultimately I have to see the material for it to be ingrained in my brain.

I also need time to absorb the material. I didn’t discover this until college, when I’d be in despair over a paper I had to write. I’d read the material, try to come up with an outline and then give up for the day, hoping the next day would be better. Inevitably patterns and ideas had synthesized in my brain overnight that I hadn’t thought of before and the paper was practically written.

It’s the same with this artist stuff. I’m constantly on Pinterest, pinning images to come back to later. I make a point to study some images, maybe think about how I could incorporate elements, but then I go on pinning. I’ll have a drawing session every once in awhile, just random stuff from my drawing board to further embed various images. And then I wait for the ideas to form.

Greeting Card design.
First of the greeting cards I’m designing

And form they do. This past weekend I stole away to our local Barnes & Noble cafe to work on a recent commission (a series of three greeting cards, I’ll be sharing more pictures soon!) and I finished earlier than I had expected. So I sipped my coffee and ruminated and then I had to start writing and drawing because the ideas were overwhelming my brain.

The coolest font ever, center point of an illumination piece I'm working on
The coolest font ever, center point of an illumination piece I’m working on

Right now I’m back in my absorption mode. I find it incredibly important to keep a list of projects/ideas handy because that keeps me productive while everything is percolating. I don’t like to force things; it’s better to let the ideas surface in their own time (or at a cafe!).

One cool byproduct of this method (which doesn’t work for everyone, Himself would go nuts if he tried to do things my way) is that I really don’t have many rejects (caveat: as long as I keep up my skills so I can immediately output at the level I want to). On the other hand, when I do have a reject it tends to be a doozy, a “Dear God what was I thinking???” type of thing.

So how do you guys go about creating? One thing I’ve learned from homeschooling my kids (and being homeschooled) is that there is no one “right” way to learn; if it works for you personally then you’re on the right track. That goes for most anything, really.

Happy Friday! Go create!

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