Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Zen of Creation


Studio Artist user Karen Hochman Brown had an interesting project going called 'An Apple a Day' that really got me thinking about different approaches to creating art. The idea was to create a unique art rendition of a particular object, in this case an apple, every day. Each apple was rendered in a different artistic style, as seen in the example shown above.

I think the notion of using some kind of daily structured activity like this as a motivation for creative work is actually a really powerful one. And the advent of modern blogging tools provide an easy way to take a structured process like this and turn it into a constantly changing online art exhibit. So it's a great way to share your current work with others.

I think it also sets up a feedback loop that can influence your overall creative process. So the very act of doing something like this forces you to grow as an artist in new and different directions. Like any creative activity, there's nothing like experimentation and regular daily practice to help you develop further.

There are a lot of different approaches to this kind of zen of creation i'm talking about. It could be as simple as forcing yourself to create a new painting or abstract art rendition each day. Or you could impose certain restraints or limitations on what you are doing and use that challenge as a way to stimulate your creativity.

A great example of this kind of approach is Studio Artist user Max's 'One Minute Paintings', where he creates an entire finished art piece in less than a minute using Studio Artist.

There's a vibrancy to the images created with this kind of approach that i find really stimulating.

I've been trying to take this lesson to heart in my own work, so i've started to carry around a small Flip video camera in my pocket all the time to capture mundane images from daily life that i can then use as source material for Studio Artist manipulations.

In addition to being something fun to do, it's also forced me to rethink different patterns i tend to fall into when building up a final image. And it's caused me to add some new features to Studio Artist that would not have even occurred to me until i was lead down those new paths by this particular approach to expanding creativity.

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