Friday, April 27, 2012

Inspiration & creation

Dear Amy,

This response is for you. I know that it has been quite a while since I received your letter in my mailbox and I have been wanting to write you back for several weeks now. I apologize for writing you back in this manner but I thought that this information could be of interest to others too as I have been asked some of the same questions in the past.

So to get down to business:
Why do you use the materials you do? Why do you use them in that way?
Most of my work revolves around pencilwork. And this is due to the fact that I feel that it is the most basic tool of all. It is elemental. It is the tool I have always used, and I think that it is not even a real choice I have made, it just ended up being that way.
And it is practical. You can take it with you everywhere you go and it doesn't seep out into your bag or pocket and doesn't take up a lot of space. 
The watercolors are dramatically different from the pencil. I feel that it is unpredictable and can be hard to handle, so I tend to use it sparsely, and try not to "force" it too much. It makes for a great contrast to the pencilwork and has a lovely light to it.
What inspired you when you were in school? 
Many of the things/themes that inspired me in school still occupies me. I have certain themes that I tend to go back to and reflect on (in my personal work), which revolves mostly around identity and "being in the world". I think that we as humans have a certain way of perceiving the world that is unique to every single one of us. And what most artists are doing is to basically try to reflect their perception of "being".
But in school inspiration came from all kinds of sources such as books about symbolism, animals and the ancient greek mythology. Antropology/different cultures/natives. Old fairy tales. And of course the nature of fashion (and consumption) as this was what I studied (fashion).

What do you do when you hit a wall or don't like the work that you have done?
I get depressed! If I don't like what I have done I put it away and then I go onto doing something totally different. Something that gets me fired up and energized again. Like baking a bread or go for a walk. Inspiration and great ideas come at the least expected places - though I have (through experience) learned that ideas (most times) definitely come after at least one hour of walking. Also oftentimes inspiration comes in the shower! But new studies say that increased oxygen to the brain (which happens when the body is moving) is a greater resource for creative thinking than the regular creative brain exercises. This is the way you will experience true creativity; by moving your body.
Btw another great way to "get over" bad artwork is to put something indecent in the picture or just ruin it. You can always reinvent yourself and make new work! Also remember to make work that is only for your own eyes - the thought of having people see everything you do can have a limiting effect. You should always be making work for your own sake as this will be the very "motor" of your carrier (if you choose this path (illustration/art) in life).  

I hope that I am not too late with this response and I am flattered that you chose my work as an inspiration to your GCSE project, and I would be delighted to see your final piece. Don't hesitate to send me a pic.

All the best wishes,

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