I quite often receive emails from various people asking me specific questions about my work and or practice. So I thought it might be a good idea to start a feature on here which allows you to send in your questions and I will try to answer them all at some point or perhaps on a monthly (or every-other-monthly) basis!
If you want to ask me something please leave a comment below this post and or email me – firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are a couple I have answered recently –
Q: …I haven’t been working on this particular project for very long but I am really struggling to come up with new and creative ideas for designs so I was just wondering what you do when you are trying to design something and need a little help or inspiration? How do you come up with something original that is completely your own work?
A: This is probably something I could talk about for a while, and don’t think there is a black and white answer to your question as it will be different for everyone. So with that in mind I will try my best to give you a few pointers as to how to start off getting ideas which are your own and help you to stay inspired.
I really do get inspiration from everywhere, whether that be nature itself, music, or something I have listened to or read. The way to build on an idea to create something that is your own, is to take it step by step, ie do lots of research, collect images that you like – not necessarily of a finished piece that you want yours to be like, but perhaps photographs, colours, textures, patterns. Anything that you are drawn to, don’t get too bogged down with how related they are to your final project or outcome. The initial steps should always be research, and then you might want to create a nice ‘mood board’ of any images you want to focus on. Then the best step is probably to start sketching, again don’t think too much about where it is going at this stage, just sketch and try to generate different ideas. I very rarely have an image of what my finished piece is going to look like at this stage. So I guess that is where I am going with all this, the process should be quite organic and flourish almost by itself, rather than sitting down and expecting to just come up with something amazing, it is like most things, a step by step journey. Hope that makes sense? If you try to work this way, your final piece/s will have so much more substance.
Practical things I do when I need ideas are things like – go for a walk or run with music on, for some reason this helps take away the pressure and will sometimes let ideas come about quite naturally, read books or go to an art library where there is an abundance of inspiration, and I guess generally looking around, look everywhere, try and absorb all the amazing things around you….. Don’t try to force ideas, let your mind wander and they should come to flourish themselves.
Q: I am currently in the process of writing my essay and one of the artists I am focussing on is you, so I was just wondering if you could tell me some information about yourself, like what inspires you etc
A: I always say this, but pretty much everything inspires me. I usually start with an idea, which might come when I am listening to music, or reading or going for a walk amongst the trees, these are some of the best times to generate ideas. These ideas are usually quite powerful, but not necessarily something I can put into words at the initial stages. So I will collect images I like, do some sketches and generally build on the original idea to finally follow it through to finished pieces, I have a lot of ideas, a lot of the time, so it is choosing which ones to pursue that I find hard. So basically so many things inspire me, from music, to colours, to nature and philosophy, fashion and of course other artists.
Thanks for reading! Hopefully these answers are useful to others too… Please feel free to reply with any more questions.