Keeping track of ideas.

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One of the consequences of conducting ones creative activities in a small studio room, essentially a converted child’s bedroom measuring barely 10×6 feet, stuffed with bookcases, desks, computers and all the required paraphernalia, is that keeping track of things is a perpetual challenge. The question “now where did I put that?” rings in my ears all the time. Any activity, creative or otherwise, brings about default behaviours in us like how we file things, store items and arrange our work area. We create our own individual systems which are very particular and often not logical in the eyes of others. I’m also sure it’s a truism that we spend countless hours every year modifying our little systems in the search for an ideal solution. I know I do, and it’s not always about easing the process of finding stuff. Being able to see your ideas is a very important part of stimulating the creative process. In the past I’ve enjoyed the luxury having lots of sketches and drawings laid out to view, it helps with seeing where you’ve been and also where you’re going, or would like to go with an idea. The challenge is being able to maintain that connection between your vision and the work in progress. This applies as much to images we collect as reference as to our own output.

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I have a wall in here upon which I stick sketch sheets and stuff, but it never feels big enough. As a result it constantly changes, acting as a road map for current work and keeping the connection going with ideas and thoughts which still hold my attention. It would be fantastic to sit in a studio the size of an aircraft hangar, but that’s not going to happen any time soon, so making the best use of what’s available really counts. The computer, which holds a huge resource in my image bank, and provides access to the universe of the net only has a screen that is so big. So to cram as much into this space as possible these compositions of ideas, as shown here, are a great way for me to see lots of ideas all at once, make decisions about them, and assist myself in direction finding.

 

 

Fast and furious.

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Welcome to the first post of 2013, a new year hopefully full of promise, creativity and unbounded potential for us all. Whilst trying my upmost to remain in a creative mindset over the holiday period, I have to confess I found it monumentally difficult to maintain any momentum. Still, there are some things to show today so the time wasn’t wasted completely.

 

The small doodles from the previous post have received a goodly amount of attention in their transfer from the sketchbook into the A3 Newsprint pad. Taking them up in scale quickly helps greatly in the process of nailing the views one is after and is a great way of giving the old freehand skills a good work out. The newsprint paper is possessed of a beautiful kind of softness which takes Biro pen really well, and so drawing is both fast and furious, though it has a strange resistance to certain media like chalky pastels. That said, it can withstand a healthy level of abuse for such thin paper. This stage of the process also provides a great opportunity to throw some colour about, just to see how things might work if that’s the chosen way forward. For this I’ve used some very old Caran D’Ache Neocolor pastels that have been with me for years. They don’t crumble like normal oil pastels, so less mess, but they still maintain a fair degree of smudge-ability, so you can blend and overlay the colour. Sat here writing this I’m of a mind to perhaps try them out on a much larger format sometime, once I’ve visited the art shop to get a few more colours that is, currently the small tin holds the remnants of perhaps half a dozen or so. There are quite a few of these little sketches to work up, so more coming in the next post.

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No wasted time.

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Aahh, back to the blog, at last. It seems to be a never ending consequence of working freelance that just when you’re getting into the flow of something, another job comes along and completely consumes you and all of your creative energy. This time it was the construction of some very large card models in what’s known as poly-board, a foam cored board with thin card faces. In this case 10mm thick, they were really big models with large curving surfaces, which requires a very particular approach to construction and problem solving. I won’t go into any more detail here but, I’m of a mind to expand on the subject further in future posts. Needless to say the time scales for these kinds of work are short, the working days long and brain fatigue a constant companion. But it’s done now, until the next one.

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So, while the above has served to get some income in, it has prevented me from getting on with a stack of drawing stuff that was all lined up. But this down time is never wasted. My trusty sketchbook, currently an A5 Moleskine with lovely creamy paper, comes with me to work every day and allows me the chance to have a scribble during my lunchbreaks. Armed with a couple of the ideas that were waiting to be developed further, these snatched chunks of time enable some thinking to occur and help to satisfy the daily drawing need.

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These three little doodles are about trying to find a progression on the ideas I’ve been having lately about cropping and framing the images to create little story snapshots whilst still maintaining some dynamism to the pictures. At the moment they seem like glimpses, captured in a moment and an attempt to try and say more through showing less, if that makes sense. Currently they are all pretty small so working them up a bit at a larger size will help to give them a bit more purpose. With the Christmas break upon us one can never be too sure how much free time can be given to some quality drawing time but here’s hoping we can steam into the new year with a bunch of fresh and exciting ideas on the go.

 

Finally, it just remains for me to wish all of my followers and readers a very Happy Christmas and thank you to you all for staying with Soulcraftcandy over the past year.