Monday, 15 September 2014

Creative Blog Hop

Hello My Lovelies

I'm here with a slightly different post today. I've been asked, very kindly, to participate in a Creative Blog Hop by my lovely friend and fellow blogger Neet Hickson. As well as having the warmest, biggest heart that I know, she is one heck of a crafter - she teaches it, she demos for other companies at craft shows and she's been published in a variety of craft magazines. She has even looked after a local craft group for several years. Where she finds the energy I haven't a clue. She is a wonderful friend with a terrific sense of humour. I love her to bits.

Back to the challenge. Last Monday, Neet posted her answers to four questions. She then nominated little old me, to keep the chain going. And as her nominee, one week later, it's my turn to answer the same four questions.

So here goes...


What am I working on now?

At the moment, other than the occasional card here and there, I’m mostly sketching and doodling. I love the playful, whimsical nature of the drawings I’m doing in my (sort of) art journal. And because I’m purposefully not sharing them, they don’t have to be very good or original. I can sit in front of the TV or in a waiting room and just scribble away without a care. There are lots of artists I currently admire out there and I’m learning by copying. What will hopefully emerge one day will be a hybrid version of them all. There’s a wonderful book on this method for mastering art, called “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon which I highly recommend. 

How does my work differ from others in my genre?

I don’t think it does. I haven’t found my oeuvre yet. I dabble in all sorts of styles. I love making stuff in a range from clean & graphic to layered, shabby chic. However, that said, after a lifetime of opting for conservative colour schemes, I’m discovering I actually love bold, bright palettes. In my art, in my clothes, in our home - I’m slowly replacing all the safe neutral tones with a rainbow of colour and I can’t begin to tell you how much more fun it is. I think the future might see me differing through my use of a multi colour palette and maybe the incorporation of more doodles. Ask me this question again in a year’s time lol. 

Why do I create what I do? 

Very good question and one that has been chewed over by greater minds than mine through the annals of history. The simplest and easiest answer as to why I personally create is because it brings me joy. I’m happy when I create. I could dig deeper and come up with a profound answer. But what I know is that when a certain amount of time has gone by and I haven’t done something creative, I miss it. No, more than that. I crave it. It becomes like an itch I need to scratch. I don’t question it. I go with the flow and give in to it. 

How does my creative process work?

Crikey, I bet this question has stumped a few people. Or am I alone here in scratching my head? If I have a creative process, this is the first time I’ve thought about it. I suppose it starts with seeing something which inspires me or triggers off an idea. It could be something I saw on a blog, or photographed on my travels or popped into my head whilst taking a bath. 

Once inspired, I dig out all the tools and materials I think I’ll need and just begin. I have the finished vision of it in my mind’s eye from the start but it tends to change as I create. I’m fairly methodical and I’m usually thinking about design principles and colour theory as I go. 

When I’m finished I instantly find fault with whatever I’ve done. Thankfully, these days I know I’m not alone and that the nasty critical voice in my head is normal. It’s never going away but I do have better strategies for dealing with it. 

My ritual is to tidy away any mess I’ve made and put the piece I’ve created away - be it a drawing or a card. If I look at it again the next day, after having slept, I generally view it with a less critical eye. In fact, I have a poster in my room which says “Done is better than perfect”. Words I need to remind myself of frequently.


And there you have it. How creativity fits into my life right at the moment. A strange time to be answering these questions as I'm only just coming out of a creative ebb. It'll be interesting to read my answers back to myself a year from now and see if I still agree with what I wrote.

In the meantime, that itch has started again and I need to go take care of it :)


Neil said...

Hi Paul.
Interesting to read your post today, especially since I've been doing the same over on my blog today too.
It is interesting isn't it to have to sit and think about things that sometimes we do automatically. I struggled with actually writing the answers to the questions. I can see how your colour palette has changed quite dramatically over time.
Have fun and take care.

Neet said...

Paul, first and foremost thank you so much for doing this for me.
Secondly thanks for such an insight into the way you work, think and react.
Thirdly, thanks for being not just a friend but someone I admire as an artist very much.
Neet xx

Shaz Brooks said...

Hi Paul, not visited you before, I came from Neets link. She's a fellow WOYWWer, lol. Enjoyed reading your answers, I did the Blog Hop a couple of weeks ago, and I too found the questions less easy to answer than you would expect.I'm off to have a look around the rest of your blog now, Hugs, Shaz xx

Richard Pettitt said...

Good answers Paul. I didn't realise you felt that creative itch too. I get a tremendous feeling of frustration. Great to hear that you're still drawing and doodling in a sketchbook. The best thing though is how creating makes you feel. Shows you're doing the right thing. And bravo with the bright colours!

alexa said...

Very interesting to read, Paul, and I am looking forward to seeing this colourful new you - is it going to extend to clothes too?