Archive for creativity

No New Ideas

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 26, 2012 by scratchyb

I was doodling at a show one day and came up with a sketch that I thought would make a cool pyrography painting. Then my girlfriend bought me a t-shirt on Threadless that had the same elements, same concept and motifs, but different design. It was just close enough to kill my enthusiasm for that particular design, but it got me thinking a little bit about the nature of ideas, the old saying that there are no new ideas. That saying pre-dated the Internet, but what happens now, when we are all basically tied into the zeitgeist, and the zeitgeist is composed of all of us?

I get my ideas from the outside world, just like we all do, but I also go to great pains to keep from being derivative. I usually let an idea stew for a few months, even if it means potentially missing the opportunity to be a “leader” in a trend and not just another dude on the bandwagon. And why should that matter anyway? How many innovators were overrun by the people who copied and then improved upon their innovation? Truth be told, I’m doing the same thing, as are most of us. But part of staying creative includes realizing this, and making the effort to keep the pool of influence wide enough to avoid clear and obvious influence.

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Take Frequent Breaks

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 23, 2012 by scratchyb

Something I normally don’t need to remind myself of, unless I’m working on an art project. During the sketching phases, I’m distracted and fidgety, but once the idea starts fleshing out, and I’ve tossed out or added new elements, I get into the zone.  And that’s when time slips out from under me, and I don’t snap out of it until I realize that I have to be at my day job in 15 minutes, or that my hand has cramped up, or my shoulders and back have cramped up. This can be bad when I’m burning, because I can forget I’ve got a hot instrument in my hand instead of just a pen.

I’m not one to glorify marathon work sessions. I value the downtime of a break, even a working break. Sometimes, when I’m working intently on some repeated patterns, other ideas emerge that need to be given some rudimentary form, or they’ll nag me all day and night.  So I stop for a while to sketch them out, and then let them sit for a while.

But the most important thing is to know when to get back to work.

Break’s over.

Further Experimentation

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2012 by scratchyb

Image

I have also been playing around with the engraving nature of pyrography.  Here’s a clock I did that I then painted over with gold paint mixed with a little black, to create a brass color.  Then I cleaned up the details with a dry, stiff brush to bring back the fine lines.