Welcome to the First Guest Blog Post of 2017!
An original piece by Jackie Case, a wonderful illustration artist.
Read on as she breaks down the creative process of producing authentic and original work.
Enjoy! & make sure to give her a follow on these social media platforms.
I Wanna Be Original
I wanna be original… just like everybody else.
How do you make anything unique? I mean really, in this day and age when so much feels ho-hum and yeah, I’ve kinda seen another version just like it before so it’s already been done but I wanna make my own stuff so bad, kind of way. How then do you ignite the spark in your own brain where your synapses just fuse together coherently and a flame of true originality is born?
I’ve thought a lot about this as I sit down to yet another drawing. But just to be clear, first off, I’m not scared of the blank page and-the-challenge-of-making-something-new-and-better-then-the-work-I-did-before has remained as steadfast as the desire to create. I know right, how lucky am I, as this will forever keep me motivated and constantly moving forward. Awesome, yeah, one for me!
Anyway, OK, back to where I was, how do you create original ideas?
Well, first, and this might seem a strange place to start, but I need you to go way back to the very beginning of the creative process and simply ask yourself… What tools do I want to use in the first place? I know, I know, this sounds odd, but just bear with me, it will all make sense in the end. So, I ask again, What do I want to have in my hand when I’m making my ‘something’?
I’d also suggest you write down a list of your tools (not ex-partners mind you, even though you could write some of them down, as you never know, it might help). For me, it took a lot of hits and misses, but I finally worked out the medium I love the most, the simple plain old pencil. Awesome! First part ticked.
So next I asked myself… Where do I want to place this tool? (No, no, not the ex- partner. We all know where they can go) …but in my case, my pencil. Was it on paper, on a wall, on canvas or material? So many options, but again I realized I simply loved drawing on plain old paper. Tick two.
But then I got to the really hard part. What was I going to draw? What was I going to say? What was my subject matter going to be? So again I got to thinking… What are my values, what do I care about, what really interests me? All these questions are so important and why making stuff is so personal and so hard.
Well, back to me… I like dogs and cats and little girls, cupcakes, soldiers and knitting; I value craftsmanship and skill, as well as drawings that make me feel good and happy. Also, I like small and delicate work that draws you in and whispers a quiet little joke in your ear. So I started drawing smaller and more detailed by combining these elements.
I still had more to ponder before I could finally show my work to the world. I had to ask myself… Where was this all going? Did I want to draw just for myself, my family or friends? Do these drawings go on a wall or are they printed on a t-shirt, a cup or on my head (that one is for all the make-up artists out there)? Are these for a gallery, a market store, or a museum? Their final destination is as important to the process as the parts that take you there in the first place. And so I decided my works are small and personal and always, always original.
So I got to work and mastered my technique (which took years of practice, yes, I’m afraid). And I finally put them up on a wall in a café, and over a latte and an almond croissant (of course). I could share my little mutterings with you, and maybe, just maybe, you just might want to take one of them home (with a strawberry macaroni for dessert, naturally). And who knows, in time a big gallery might see my work and they’ll give me my own solo show in New York (yes, this did actually happen, but that’s another story.)
So when I reflect back on this, it all seems so simple and straight forward, but how does this help you? By compartmentalizing and deconstructing the creative process I discovered you could create, in a totally concrete way, a method to stimulate new synapses within your own work. All you had to do was write down as many tools, canvas’, subject matter (and/or your values) and finally your destinations. By writing these lists, and re-combining them (I wrote them on cogs as it made it easier), we could finally get to the fun part; for each time you twirl your answers, you combine them in new and different ways, making unlimited original ideas only you could make.
Awesome right! So, if you’re feeling a little stuck or in a creative rut, give this a go and who knows what you might find. Take for example, if you’re into knitting and hairdressing and writing and you really want your work in a museum, maybe you could knit a huge word using only human hair. It could sit in the foyer at The National Gallery of Victoria just behind the water wall. Wow! Amazing… mmm… now what would it say?
A Special Thanks To Jackie Case
Jackie wrote a book, FLYING PENGUINS, about all this stuff. Check out her website WWW.JACKIECASE.COM
& Purchase Her Book There. Her works are being showcased below:
Follow her on social media too
Learn More About Jackie On The Spotlight in October.