Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Blowing Off Steam
One thing I continually get inspired by is going to such sites as Illustration Friday or Drawer Geeks and seeing all of the great work of other artists. I believe one of the real challenges for an artist (and why these sites are often so great) is making sure not to lose the creative edge when doing traditional work. Yes art fields provide plenty of opportunity for creative problem solving and not being bored to death like more 'traditional' jobs...(I once worked at a window factory for a week...God bless the people that can work an assembly line without going and jumping off a cliff)....but our field comes with its own little special set of stresses. Deadlines, producing quality work, resubmits on last second changes, feast or famine on freelance, having your mind 'on' a whole lot as your problem solving (at 3am, 4am, 5am), driving while drawing when a great idea hits (just kidding...maybe)...etc, etc, etc.
So as I visit such sites I think it is great that these artists put time and effort into producing some of the GREAT work they do just because. Non-artists or people new to the field sometimes miss out on the fact that creative folks need creative outlets or they face burnout just like anyone else. PLUS it often results in learning something that can be used later!
I also often run across posts that were made for some sort of contest, again, just for a creative break. The Vormator challenge (the above picture is from this event) was a contest where you were give 8 simple vector shapes to rotate, combine, overlap, etc to produce anything you wanted. You just weren't allowed to to alter the initial shape or to destroy the shape in such a manner that you couldn't see the basis for the creation.
Another great idea that I've seen floating around is traveling sketchbooks. Artists get together and pass around a sketchbook, sometimes even across the globe to compile different drawing styles. Check out the following links for a really good creative break...
Steve's Flying Turtle moleskin exchange
Vormator Challenge (Even though it is over you can still get the shapes and it is a great creative exercise).