My friend Clint Haley from Provoke Ministries posted a question today that really got me thinking:
What training methods do you use that are non-traditional? Sometimes, we need to get creative about our methods before we will achieve creative results.
I started to think about the things I have done that have really stretched me creatively and decided to share some of them here to get you thinking about ways you can stretch yourself creatively.
1. Make a video
One of the big things that stretched me was when I started making the painting videos, especially the animated pieces because now not only did I have to come up with a good finished project, it had to tell a story and it had to move. I had to think about the process rather than just the finished piece. I had to pick each shot and keep it cohesive.
2. Change it up
I’m predominantly a cartoonist/graphic guy so I decided to try my hands at what may be the opposite end of the spectrum, Abstract Art. Changing this up really made me think about composition, form and on and on. The video below shows the first two items working together.
3. Speed it up
When I went to performance painting and all of the sudden I had to be able to finish a piece in five to ten minutes everything had to be simplified and minimized and it still has to look good when it was done. This makes you break everything down into it’s simplest forms and really gives you “new eyes” toward what you’re doing.
Okay not really, that would imply that you were claiming someone else’s work as your own. What I am talking about here is copying for the sake of learning. It makes you really look at a work of art and think about technique. Sometimes it really helps to just look and see how a great master did a work that you love. The following video gives an example.
5. Do half a painting
One of the favorite art times I have ever had was with my friend John Brown. John is a brilliant abstract artist who works very slowly, and meticulously. Very much the opposite of the way I am used to working. We each sat down with an inexpensive canvas panel. We decided on abstract and each of us filled out canvas with a design in a single different color pallet. Then we switched. He had to “finish” or enhance mine and I had to do the same with his. It was really fun and while I am not entirely sure we came up with gallery worthy art, I do know it stretched me.
6. Challenge Yourself
There is no replacement for practice. In 2011 I challenged myself to create on complete work of art every day for the year. Some pieces were better than others but the sum total of the experience was I learned a lot of new things.
You can see the result of that challenge here.
How can you stretch yourself creatively?