Whenever I share one of my drawings on social media with friends, usually trying to direct them to one of my online stores so my buddies will buy one of my shirts or art prints, I invariably get this question:
Where do you get your crazy ideas from?
I usually just brush this question off by saying things like "my brain" and then proceed to change the subject because it's a long-winded answer. When people ask, they want a short and concise solution: something along the lines of "dreams." Those who don't work in the creative fields tend to be fascinated by the creative process. Annoyingly enough, they seem to think that us creative types do drugs in order to fuel our creativity, which at least for me, is simply not the case.
Here are some methods and techniques I use to keep the creative juices flowing, and this is the first blogpost in a series about my creative process.
The Out-of-the-Blue Spark
(a.k.a. the Eureka Moment!)
Here is an example: a friend at happy hour, mentioned how she was suspicious of a certain politician from her home country, and then proceeded to describe this politician as a "wolf in sheep's clothing." I was already well acquainted with this almost cliché idiomatic expression, but I guess I hadn't heard it in quite a long time. Upon hearing it, I immediately thought to myself "why not a wolf in men's clothing?" That quick turn of thought brought about a whole series of drawings of wolves wearing suits and ties (and even a pocket-square!). Critical to this approach is sketching right away. It's amazing how quickly you will lose that initial spark of creativity if you don't put pen to paper immediately.
The Limitation Approach
My favorite photography teacher, Kim Kirkpatrick, taught me that creativity can actually be invigorated by placing certain limitations on it. I remember being in his class and producing a series of photos of my sneakers hanging out with other household items like houseplants and tchotchkes. These photos got me the best grades in the class, and the lesson stayed with me and has served me well in my creative endeavors.
Note: (Ok, I know I cheated with the stripes behind the lion skull, but I forgive myself...)
Coming up next...
These are just two ways to start your creative juices flowing and keep them going in order to churn out more work. Tune in next week when I'll touch upon two other methods to keep that creativity rolling: The Homage, and The Free Doodle.