Developing Ideational Fluency
The task of generating ideas, or, as I normally look at it; how to be inspired, is probably the paramount difficulty facing anyone of a creative tendency. Being unsurpassed in technical execution is pointless if one cannot find an intuitive and original outlet for it.
Personally, I have numerous approaches I take to hunting for that flash of inspiration which can make or break an image. The first and foremost I use is note taking and my small A6 journals. These indispensable books are nothing more than collections of one, maybe two word ideas, small facets of an idea I’ve had which I can jot down on a bus, in a lecture, at the pub, wherever. It allows me to never forget a potential composition, or interesting design, and, when feeling uninspired, as though the dreaded artist’s block is hanging over me like the sword of Damocles, I can turn to my journal and start sketches from there.
A second method I use is collections. I collect everything, and rarely use it. Mostly digital, I have folders full of catwalk shows, other artists works, photographs, billboards, figure studies and short animations which I call reference, but which are really more like stepping stones; used to either help when referring to how to draw a particular garment, or, if I have an idea, what inventive ways have been used previously for a similar idea, and then these can combine and allow for me to remove mental barriers to allow my designs to merge and move in a new direction.
Managing a Creative Environment
Feeling calm, at ease and at one with the place where you decide to work is incredibly important when creating individual work, I’d say on a par with personal, cultural and social interests. It alters ones thought process, and if you aren’t comfortable with where you work it will be evident in your sketchbooks and developments.
As a creative entity, the studio/bedroom/room, the workplace where you spend the majority of your time is integral. It should be an inspirational place, stimulating, a reservoir of creativeness within which you should be able to submerge yourself to work.
My workplace is still quite chaotic, I haven’t yet found a nice equilibrium between the technological side of my life and the messy traditional art side. My next investment will be a drawing desk, from which all my most used art materials will hopefully be in reach, making for a very comfortable, fluid, and calming environment. I surround myself with photos of friends, art works of the people I aspire to, and random figures and models I’ve collected on my travels, all of these mean something to me, and simply spark an essence of nostalgia and warm memories, getting me in a state of mind in which I can easily work, stress free (mostly!).
This workplace is “EatToast’s” a university student from America, whose workplace I simply find wondrous. Looking at it I simply want to delve around, looking at her books, her art supplies, and simply soaking up the different atmosphere. It’s obvious from the photos that a lot of thought has gone into her studio design, and while she seems startlingly outgoing (especially compared to me and my workspace), the sheer volume of intriguing posters, models, and other pieces of work leave me inspired, let alone her.