Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Artist's Journal

When I was an art student at NYU, a successful photographer gave me the best artist advice I ever received-- he told me to write my ideas down and keep them in a file so when “the well ran dry”, as he put it, I would never be at a loss for new sources of artistic inspiration. I took that advice to heart and even now I look back through some of my old notebooks and see ideas that can still be re-worked to produce idea “gold”.

All our lives are very busy these days and the idea of keeping track of yet another thing is enough to make you sigh with fatigue.But all you need do is get a little notebook and when you're driving or doing dishes or waiting at the dentist's office, let that little voice of the Muse move your pencil to sketch or write. I usually think in sketches and then append them with some text in case I can't “read” my drawing later. Have you ever seen the sketches of Leonardo DaVinci? I am completely in awe of them, they are art as well as notes! But yours don't have to be pretty or finished-- they are simply physical representations of your mental process. I keep another small notebook by the bed these days, in case I'm visited by a dream that could become something wonderful. I've told myself too many times that I'll remember an idea to find upon waking that it is gone, gone, gone!

Here's a sketch I made of a necklace I submitted for the Art Bead Scene's blog February Challenge based on a painting by Gustav Klimt called “The Kiss”. The ABS editors pick one artwork each month and challenge designers and bead artists to interpret the work using art beads. Below the sketch is the finished design.

The ideas don't always show up in my head full-blown and sometimes I'll even cut the little elements apart and move them around in different arrangements or enlarge them on the copier or trace extras with tissue paper. Not very high-tech but are we really in a rush here? Revel in the sublime pastime of committing your ideas to paper and you might find that good quiet time is not as impossible to schedule as you think.

No comments:

Post a Comment