Where Do Ideas Come From? February Art Journal Emporium Mobile Art Spotlight February 19 2016, 1 Comment

“If you build it, he will come.” Field of Dreams

Most of us remember it as: “If you build it, they will come.”  And this is the answer to where ideas come from.  They come from beginning.

I’ve shared a couple of times about how happy and honored I am to be on the Creative Team for Tangie Baxter’s Art Journal Emporium.  I contribute a monthly tutorial on mobile art - creating art using a smartphone or tablet.  Here the creations for this month’s tutorial, Wild Motion and Ultimate Distortion.  But, I have to be honest, most of the time I have no idea what I’m going to create or write about next.

This month, I actually started writing the tutorial before these pieces were created.  The ideas for each next step came from the pictures themselves.  I even tossed out some ideas along the way.  Which means I started without any ideas at all, but had so many ideas along the way that I actually ended up with more ideas than I needed.

So where do ideas come from?  They come from beginning.  I don’t mean this in any kind of mystical or abstract vague way.  I mean this in the most practical of ways.  Strike out. Snap a picture.  Make a mark.  Glue something down.  Tear, staple, scribble, doodle - start anywhere with anything you have at your fingertips.  Then, add the next thing.  And the next thing.  Destroy the first thing.  Subtract something.  Cover over the bits you don’t like and keep going.  In the beginning it may feel like you’re pushing a big rock up a mountain, but, eventually, the artwork itself will take over.  Thank goodness!  Otherwise I would probably never make anything.

Before I started creating on my own, I would look at a piece of art or a journal page created by another artist and I would think to myself, “How did they come up with that?”  I thought they knew exactly what they wanted to create before they started and that they also knew every step to take along the way to get there.

What I’ve learned is that there are very few, if any, artists who create that way.  This is one of the myths of creation: that you have to know exactly what you want to make and how to make it before you’re allowed to begin.  In fact the opposite is true for me.  I have to begin before I can know what I want to make.

Yes, there are formulas, workflows, and patterns that I’ve discovered, developed and learned along the way.  But, anything you learn from someone else will eventually have to become yours.  Your bag of techniques and your comfort with different materials will expand over time.  And it helps to have a community to play with.

But, the beauty of it, at least for me, is knowing that I don’t have to know what I’m doing. Even if I have no idea how to begin, all I have to do is begin and the ideas will come. Trust.  And begin.

So happy beginnings to you!  I hope to see you in the Art Journal Emporium.

For more information on the Art Journal Emporium visit Art Journal Emporium - Tangie Baxter & CO.

[posted by Kirsten]