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The problem with creatives is they are never content for long. They spend hours working on a project frustrated when the idea does not work as they hoped. The colour they see in their brain does not work on paper, the note is just wrong or the word does not encapsulate the true meaning of what they want to convey. If any of the above rings true to you congratulations you are creative. Unfortunately, this is true across the board it is both a pleasure and a curse experienced by all creatives. There have been many times that I wished I could be happy working in Burger King, “have a nice day now” said to every customer as they leave the counter with their prime beef in a bun.

No responsibilities at the end of your working day, you go home & never think about your work till the next shift. If you are a painter, sculptor or poet this will never apply to you. As your creations are very much part of your life they are born & exist in real-time. They succeed or fail in real-time too, you will spend many hours just trying to get your work in front of what you hope is the right audience. In the end, they are just words or marks on paper that only you really understand.

I have spent many hours chasing an idea only to find that when executed it drops like a dead duck in the mire. this is, unfortunately, all part of the creative process it is as old as the wheel itself.

The only good news is that when you do manage to get it right the feeling is like electricity or lovemaking, there is a lot of hard work much pushing and pulling with a sudden rush of pleasure, when you step back for the last time and it works. That’s the good news and it is short, the next week you will probably be not so ecstatic with your new baby. In fact, you may be so unhappy with your new baby that you tear it up or paint it over and start again. Do not be afraid to do just that, as it is the most important part of creative development. Failure truly is the direct route to success. Success what is a success? for me it is simply that after a week month or year I still feel a connection to the piece. 

After all, it was designed, made or composed by me for me.

This is a short sentence but says so much.

Do it for yourself do not copy or create for someone else, all you will achieve is a diluted version of your idea. You will be dissatisfied and the work will be weak. You can steal an idea you have seen or read and do it better, artists have been doing just that since time began. I must see thousands of images each day, I may linger on one or two just long enough to identify why it made me stop and look. Learn to dissect why something works for you & consider improving it yourself. 

 So that is the problem with being creative, you spend your whole life chasing an invisible peak only to be disappointed again & again. Then just when you want to give up and get a proper job you get that wet warm feeling that tells you that you may have got it right.

 

The Sketch book

I always carry a sketch book I have one for notes & one for visual ideas I am always asked by students why in todays digital world I still carry these antiquated tools the answer is always the same.”It is faster than an iPad and much lighter. Do not miss understand I have a number of IPads but they cant transfer composition & mood as fast as a sharp piece of charcoal or pencil. I can look back to ideas I have had, that at the time I did not fully follow through with. For many reasons the idea is usually good and it is just waiting for the right time to be explored.The idea is not to spend hours perfecting a master piece just to get down on paper ideas colour composition mood shape all of the components you will need later to expand your idea.Try it forget your iPad paint from your sole.

Abstract painting
Mixed media