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Coming up with Fresh Ideas

Blog: #18 of 29 by Jean Moore

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September 19th, 2012 - 06:18 PM

Ah, well, I took some time trying to decide what to pull from the old sketchbook…so many possibilities, most dealing with thumbnails, silhouettes, clouds, rock…and on and on. I've settled on posting a couple of my land/cityscape thumbnails.

I get comments all the time that I am so creative or asked how I come up with so many different ideas. You will often find in art forms where someone will ask the community "How do you keep your ideas fresh?" or "How do you overcome artist's block?" Well it may just be that you need a break. Artists and people in general need to do something else in order for their mind to gather new information and make new connections even if they are familiar ones.

But at other times it is not that easy, sometimes you have to just push on through. It may be that you have a deadline to meet or your free weekend is coming to a close and you must return to your day job on Monday Morning; and dog gone it you haven't accomplished anything. How do you overcome these?

The easiest way to do that is to sketch on a regular basis if not daily. These could just be the scribbles you do while on the phone. Or you could take another approach used by many Fine and Commercial artists—do many, many thumbnails. Thumbnails can be really planned out—the house is on the right, pond 3/4 of the way down…however, if you do it from an abstract approach you can pull out those same thumbnails a year from when you did them and see something totally different than what you saw when you created them. Your sketchbook(s) become instant reference and inspiration.

The idea here is not to plan anything. It is to put down strokes and tones and go back later and (or sometimes right then) look for the tiny scenes and refine three or four with the most promise. Then from there you can decide to take one or all of them to a finished piece. Here are a couple of sheets from my sketchbook. What do you see?

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