“If anybody wants to keep creating they have to be about change.” – Miles Davis
Rule 1: Feel safe to explore.
Rule 2: Never stop searching for stimulus.
Rule 3: Allow time for open meditation rather than focused meditation. One allows the mind to wander creatively and the other focuses the mind on one thing such as the breath.
Rule 4: Everything is an experiment.
Rule 5: Fight the inner interference that stops you working. Remember P = p – i (Performance equals potential minus our minds imposter syndrome interference)
Rule 6: Nothing is a mistake, there is only make
Rule 7: Don’t create and analyse at the same time, they’re different processes
Rule 8: THE ONLY RULE IS WORK. If you work it will lead to something. Its the people who do the work who catch on to things.
Rule 9: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself, its lighter than you think.
Rule 10: ” We’re breaking all of the rules. Even our own rules, and how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities’ John Cage
Apapted from the work of “Sister’ Mary Kent, who revolutionised graphic design and encouraged the creativity of thousands of people.
Drawing, that thing that most people do even if it’s an absent minded doodle. Drawing, that process that art schools condemned not so very long ago, but is now right back in fashion (it never really went away for most of us). Drawing, that thing that needs constant practice. Drawing, that thing that helps you develop your own language for expression. Drawing, that thing that thing where people say, ‘oh that’s good,’ ‘that’s not right, but mind you, I’m rubbish at drawing.’
No two people draw alike. Your drawings are as distinctive as your handwriting
I have always made myself work. Don’t just sit staring at the daunting, expectant paper. Just put something down – hopefully it wll lead to another thing, and before you know it the drawing may be underway like a slow locomotive pulling out of the station before it speeds down the track. Gerald Scarfe, The Long Drawn Out Trip, Little Brown 2019. https://www.geraldscarfe.com
The moment you put down two or three marks on a piece of paper, you get relationships. They’ll start to look like something. If you draw two little lines they might look like two figures or two trees. One was made first, one second. We read all kinds of things into marks. You can suggest landscape, people and faces with extremely little. It all depends on the human ability to see a mark as a depiction. David Hockney, http://www.hockney.com/works/drawings/2010s
Drawing could start anywhere. A crayon scuffs paper and the child holding it sees a mark emerge. A brush runs along a batten and look, there is a line. Yhe skid of a swung stick describes fine curves in the sand; the effects of our actions interest us and we make further marks. A zone of attention forms. Within this mental zone, whatever dots, edges or curves we produce seem to gang up and find ways of relating to one another- rhythms, behaviour patterns. Julian Bell. Ways of Drawing, Thames and Hudson 2019. https://www.royaldrawingschool.org
How Drawing Can Set You Free www.ted.com/talks/shantell_martin_how_drawing_can_set_you_free
Draw up, draw in, draw something today!
If you were to prepare a still life using 5 objects that symbolize what was most important to you in your life so far what would they be?
How would you arrange these objects or metaphors?
Flowers bring colour and a need for light, they offer beauty, smell, seasonality etc. and evoke memories.
Would you photograph them, paint/draw them, make a model of them, just write prose/poetry about them – maybe I’ll draw something from the prose/poetry? The objects are few but the possibilities are up to you
The last sentence is the clue. I’m interested in you sending photograps or documents to me,(firstname.lastname@example.org) to see how they collectively emerge and what is evoked in me as an artist when I receive whatever you offer.
This idea is based on an original idea of Charles and Elizabeth Handy
https://www.steamco.org.uk/#creativity . Promoting the arts in schools and communities
www.degard.org . Great website full of her aura paintings of the famous
https://devonsculpturepark.org “We give nature freedom to experience its strength and beauty and use environmental art to educate and challenge us on climate issues and natural solutions.
www.bristolartschannel.com . Newly launched site full of great things happening in and around Bristol UK.
stgeorgesbristol.co.uk . Home of the wonderful that offers great events from classical to pop and contemporary music, ideas and spoken word etc.
cubecinema.com . The Cube is a Microplex Cinema, Arts venue, adult creche, independent museum, and progressive social wellbeing enterprise in Central Bristol, UK
imagerytoolbox.com . A great site to, “Mobilize your inner resources when facing cancer, chronic illness or crisis.” Actually lots of great creative ideas.
Lucywillis.com . Lucy Willis RWA is an award winning painter ( BP Portrait Artist of The Year) and printmaker living and working in the West of England. Great painter of light.
“For anyone who is making something that previously did not exist in this form, is at this point, of necessity an amateur. How can he knowhow this thing is done that has never existed before? Every designer, every artists, every inventor or discoverer of something new is in that sense an amateur. And to explore the untried, he must be an adventurer. For he finds himself alone on new ground. He is left to his own devices and must have imagination and daring. All decisions are his own, and only he is responsible. But though it is he who is in charge, he feels himself only to be an intermediary who is trying to help the not-yet-existent turn into reality.”
Anni Albers, Designing As A Visual Organization. Anni Albers 1965
I love those words of Anni Albers because for me they sum up the scariness of starting to create something, anything new. The feelings of uncertainty, and fear that it will go wrong, the inner voices that bring self-doubt. We are in what W. Timothy Gallway calls the ‘inner game.’ Gallway has an equation: P=p-i
The capital P is about our performance, what we can achieve, and this is our (p)innate potential – what we are naturally capable of, and the I is our own interference – our capacity to trip ourselves up. Our self-talk brings us down far too often. Gallway was a tennis coach who began to realise that whilst coaching technique and physical fitness was important and devising strategies to defeat specific opponents was very sensible, players faced not only an opponent across the net but an inner opponent as well.
“In every human endeavour there are two arenas of engagement: the outer and the inner. The outer game is played on an external arena to overcome external obstacles to reach an external goal. The inner game takes place within the mind of the player and is played against such obstacles as fear, self-doubt, lapses in focus, and limiting concepts or assumptions.”
I mention all of this , not to scare you off but rather for you to know and for me to remind myself everyday, that feeling like an amateur every time I start something new, or build upon an idea, is a very normal place to be. In a creative place our brains are firing excitedly just like they do when about to do anything physically risky, so its no wonder we can feel a mixture of excitement and fear. Feeling excited and disempowered at the same time? It’s a humble place from which to start, but it means that we are on our mettle. The key is draw one’s focus onto the physical and mental processes taking place and to notice it all without self-criticism and see them as the narrowing down onto the task in hand. I will explore this more in later blogs.
The Smithosonian reports that scientists recently re-examining a Moroccan cave, used the latest dating techniques showed that the Homo Sapien remains were from around 300,000 years ago. This means we originated 100,000 years earlier than we thought. That fact makes a good deal of my talks look immediately dated! But not only that, they showed that 300,000 years ago people were trading their resources up to 55 miles away their resources for obsidian, a naturally occuring volcanic glass which was valuable at that time for its sharp edges.
We homo sapiens ( thinking man) have been around for 300,000 years and sharing our resources. Outside of yourself, what are the many resources available to you as you seek to develop?
- Professional support
- Natural resources
- IT e.g. internet
- T.V. and radio
- Any others?
Appreciative Inquiry and art are about liberating the human spirit, here Tommy Plesky offers some inspiration for making your art, send out that message in a bottle, and maybe someone somewhere will find your bottle and float a message back saying, “hey, great art – I get it, and I love it!” Maybe make this video part of your morning practice as you start your day.