Today, I welcome Elizabeth McGrath to the blog. She is sharing with us a unique way to pursue inspiration and show us how to learn to be creative with a process. You’ll love her inspirational posts and especially the accompanying YouTube videos.
THE CREATIVE PROCESS
Oh, good you found me.
Today, I would like to talk about the creative process.
But the more I thought about it the more I realized that the term “creative process” can cover anything from problem-solving a business or social issue, designing furniture, creating marketing materials all the way to art.
Amazing isn’t? So, for today I would like to cover the creative process for bringing your ideas to life, such as a visual concept or a story.
Alright, let’s get started…
Here’s another post by Elizabeth that you will enjoy:
How to Tap into and Flow in Creativity
About three years ago, at the time of this writing, I went to attend to my fruit trees at our local community garden. A succulent club was sponsoring a festival on the property and since I was already there, I decided to check it out, and to my surprise, I saw the strangest plants I have ever seen. Some even looked like they may have made their way into a Dr. Seuss book.
There were so many varieties and colors. I had no idea that succulents could be so beautiful or unique. Neither, did I know that so many people love succulents. I had a glimpse of myself selling hand water-colored greeting cards then inspiration sky rocked.
Lesson: Inspiration is everywhere, and you never know what might spark an idea.
Advice: Keep notes or voice snip-its in your phone of your all ideas when unexpected inspiration hits.
You’ll want to watch Elizabeth’s video below about Collecting Inspiration on Pinterest.
The video has no sound.
HAVE AN IDEA NOW WHAT…
Plan some quiet time to work on your new fabulous ideas, or if you like some noise to help you concentrate that is fine too.
Once you’re in your special workspace, write your ideas down on paper.
The messier the better…
If you have more than one idea, that is not related to your original idea then write on a separate piece of paper to keep it more organized.
At least for now.
Watch Elizabeth’s video on Write Down Your Messy Ideas.
The video has no sound.
MESSY IDEAS ARE ALL WRITTEN DOWN
Awesome. Now that all your ideas are written down, you want to start expanding on those ideas. So, we can start brainstorming on those ideas.
So, you’re probably thinking:
What does that look like?
What are you talking about, you said ‘be messy?’
I did say that. Ok, let’s take a step back…
Take your super awesome messy list and grab a lined piece of paper. Better yet, a spiral-bound journal so you can keep all your ideas together.
Then proceed to take your messy ideas and start categorizing and grouping your ideas together so you can easily read then, find them, and expand on them later.
Here is Elizabeth’s video on Love Your Chicken Scratches.
The video has no sound.
Now that you have your organized list of ideas and related groupings. It’s time to do the fun stuff and expand on our original ideas.
We will use my succulent festival experience as an inspiration for creating watercolor greeting cards for succulent fans as an example project.
LOOK OVER LIST OF IDEAS:
Succulent with flowers
Succulent blue with purple accents
Succulents birthday cards, etc.
So now, I am going to start with Succulents with Flowers and start collecting images of every succulent I like with flowers because I think they will make a nice visual on greeting cards.
Do a Google, Instagram and Facebook search to see which succulents are the most popular.
Decide if you like the most popular succulents because you will spend a lot time looking at it, thinking about it, drawing it, painting it and making stuff with it.
If I don’t like it, find the next interesting or unique succulent that maybe isn’t as popular but people might find it interesting.
Succulent images I like with flowers (2-50)
Succulents without flowers (20)
LOOK EVERYTHING OVER, THEN START BRAINSTORMING TO EXPAND ON IDEAS
Open up my sketch pad of paper and start scratching out some ideas. I would start with the top 5 images I liked for inspiration never to copy but to inspire and give you a direction.
Then I would start drawing out my ideas of different succulents and how I think I would want the succulents to be placed on a card.
Where do you want your succulent to be placed?
Where will it live? in the desert, in a globe, a pot, a shoe, a boot?
Will you create your succulent as a cartoon, more abstract, or perhaps realistic?
Do you want your final result to be created with watercolors, paints, color pencil, a marker, perhaps digital?
Just sketch it out quickly, this is your first round so chicken scratches are suggested. Quick and ugly just to get your ideas started.
I suggest trying to come up with and sketch out 30-50 ideas with or without the words you would like it to say.
You’ll enjoy this post also by Elizabeth –
What to do once You’re in your Creative Zone
HAVE MY 30-50 SKETCHES NOW WHAT?
Congratulations you just got past the first hurdle.
So now what?
Put away your sketchbook.
Wait two days, then take your sketch so you can look at them with a fresh perspective.
WHICH ONE’S DO YOU LIKE?
Try to pick out your top 20 favorite sketch ideas.
Put your sketchbook down again and take a break.
After a couple of hours, pick out your favorite top 10.
Now pick out your favorite top 5.
Then your number one favorite idea.
Great, now that you have your number one favorite idea. Start to think of five more from that one favorite idea.
Hint: You will do the same thing with all your other top 20 ideas too, but for now we will start with your top #1 favorite idea for this purpose of this posting.
#1 FAVORITE CHICKEN SCRATCH PLUS FIVE MORE
Super exciting you have your first favorite idea plus in five more expanded from it.
You need to move to the next level in the process and start to draw out your ideas the best you can.
Yes draw, take your time and use your fabulous pencil for this round.
HAVE MY DRAWINGS, NOW WHAT
Pat yourself on the back you are now entering into round seven. You have your pencil drawing.
Now you want to make a copy of your favorite work and then write your notes on the copy (not the original).
I want you to write your plans in very simple notes.
3-Greeting card (holidays for succulent superfans)
3-Mediums: 1-watercolor, 1-digital, 1-color-chalk
NOW LET’S GET STARTED ON PICKING COLORS
You have your original, and you have your copy.
Now take your copy and either redraw your image or transfer it to your paper of choice (watercolor paper) or scan it into your computer for digital work.
Next: Pick your colors AKA color palette.
Start practicing and playing with your colors of choice on a copy of your new awesome drawing. (Do not disturb your original image).
Create about 5-10 samples of each image slightly changing the colors or their intensity to find the just the right effect you’re looking for.
Video: Trying out ideas for greeting cards
The video has no sound.
HAVE MY 5-10 SAMPLES
Great now look them over.
Do you love them?
Would you buy them?
Then go to the drawing board and figure out which phase you need to revisit.
Now go through the process again.
More than likely you either need to polish up your image or work on the color, shading or style.
No problem just keep plugging along. I‘ll wait for you….
Oh, good you’re back. Love your work now!
Great job! Now what?
YOU’RE IN THE FINAL STRETCH
Ok great, you’re in the final stretch. You have your final color samples, so now what?
Well, now you will translate your image on to (in this example) a greeting card. Now you need to decide if you want to reproduce the card in digital format or as a hand painted card.
Video: Color mixing with Chinese watercolor pigments
Video has no sound.
Congrats! You just finished learning the beginning steps in the creative process.
Hope you found this guest post of value. Let us know what you think in the comment box below. If you would like to learn more about me, you can find me or more information about the creative process by visiting me at curvedlines.co.
Curvedlines.co , A lifestyle blogazine
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