The most common question that I am asked about my work is “How do you do that?” I am embarrassed to say that the honest answer is “I don’t know exactly. I have made art my whole life, and I can’t not do it.”
People are rarely asking me how to draw or paint, what they really want to know about is the creative process. Where do you get your ideas? What do you do with them when you get them? Why do you make art?
I am not analytical by nature so the answers don’t come naturally to me. I am interested in the mystery of the subconscious, I think so visually, words are an appendage that I tack on afterwards. I have pretty good creative habits, I am naturally self directed, and I am always working on something.
I realize that I have to become more verbal. As much as I wish it were otherwise, people don’t communicate by image, they use words. So, I have to improve on the way I articulate my process in order to draw people into my work.
After several false starts, I have concluded that the way to do this is to break it down and learn what I am doing, how I work, and to break down the steps. I think that if I can do that, I will answer those questions for myself and that the understanding I gain will make it easier to answer that question for others.
I love how focused Tharp’s thinking is, and how she breaks things down.
In many ways the advice and exercises are no different than any other book on creativity or success, but something about the way it is set up and Tharp’s voice that have captured me.
I am the first to admit that I am generally not good at following a plan, but I am going to try to follow this one. I hope that following the exercises will clarify my thinking. For the next several weeks, I have decided to follow the exercises in Tharp’s book and blog about it. Writing about the exercise, and posting about it, will be my way of holding myself accountable.