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Creating Art is Possible By Inviting Our Creative Minds

Amanda Coen

'Can Anyone be Creative?'

Imaginative Flying Mushrooms Painting by Ananda and Ed Parade Handmade

This is a question often asked. Usually by people who think they can't draw but have a fond wish to be in that coveted 'circle'.

Knowing how to draw is really only a tiny part of creativity and you know, humans are creative by nature. Otherwise how on earth have we managed to get to where we are as a race for starters?

I intend to get into that part of things, but first I would like to bring your attention to the fact that our creativity shows when we think, rationalise and come up with solutions, often on a daily basis, to the problems that arise in our own lives. We all get that little thrill when a good plan works out. That could be through rigging up a better system for the shampoo bottles and soap holder in the bathroom right up to discovering the best plan to decorate under the stairs to get a bit of extra space to store things or to work at a desk. (Recently, I temporarily stuffed a tiny plush cat toy half way out through the letterbox so it wouldn't bang so loud in the storm. I am very proud though I know I will eventually find a better even more creative fix.)

Can I be Creative Even if I Can't Draw?

Indeed you can. Yes. Affirmative. Yes you can. Sure. Of course. I often remember and am comforted by a line from a book called 'Chagall', who was of course the famous and very prolific artist. It mentions how a child once commented saying that he didn't draw very well. Something he didn't dispute. In fact there were other critics who said the same to which Chagall responded, 'Of course I draw badly. I like drawing badly.' He also said, 'Art seems to me to be above all a state of soul...let them eat their fill of their square pears on their triangular tables.'

So Getting Back to Drawing and Painting

Creating imagery through painting and drawing is very satisfying. There are a few reason for this.

When you concoct an idea in your mind it's like solving a problem or finding a solution. When you execute your idea and it is down and recorded there is a certain relief and joy that comes with it. There is the feeling of achievement if it was for a purpose such as a gift or a decoration for a wall or building or a design for a book cover. Whatever the purpose, once it is achieved you are free to go on to the next adventure. 

How to be Creative

In my experience, the main obstacle to creativity is a captive mind. By that I mean a mind bound by rules and regulations about what to create, how to do it, what to use, how big, how small, what style? What paint? What it should look like.

'Shoulds' don't belong in this space. It DOESN'T MATTER! Allow yourself to make a mess, make something you didn't expect and even to FAIL in your own eyes. Freedom comes from allowing yourself to fail over and over. Meanwhile you will be enjoying yourself and discovering a new world you didn't know was there with seemingly no effort at all.

Just do it. That's easy to say. I believe it becomes easier to express yourself when you create the right atmosphere. First of all you can throw the rule book out.You can use whatever you have to hand. No fancy paper or paints necessary let me add. A sheet of paper, any size. In the absence of paper then any surface will work. A wall, a bit of cardboard off the back of the cereal packet, back of a sheet of wallpaper, a page from a copy book etc. You could even us a bit of material or carpet. You get my meaning. It will be all the more interesting in the end. Then you need something to make a mark with and if there is nothing then your fingers or toes will work just fine. In the absence of a paint brush you can use a pastry brush or a sponge or a make up brush etc.
My next step would be to pop on some music I like but if the radio is too full of adds Lyric FM is good. The pieces are long and often with no words which I like. I usually don't want my thoughts to be lead by other thoughts. You might like the idea of working from the seed of another person's idea. Everything counts. What ever prompts a reaction or inspiration in you is where you want to go.

Letting Our Creative Minds Expand

Sketch Study for 'Café Rendevous' by Amanda Coen - Parade Handmade

Next, I would just lash on the paint or colour or pencil. A mark. Any kind of mark. You don't need a plan. Just start and see what it provokes. Another mark? A series of dots? A few stripes? A big balloon? A cloud? A new colour? The same againe? Who knows what will emerge. The main thing here is not to judge. Creative minds thrive with encouragement. Try to follow your piece to a conclusion but if you feel you don't know where else to go with it then leave it aside and start afresh. You can always go back if you wish. (Something I am learning still. I mean the going back part.)You can do this endlessly and each time you will have a different outcome.

You will come to realise that creativity is infinite. The creativity inside you just needs the invitation and the welcome when it does surface. You can number your pieces on the back a save them in a folder or a box so you can follow your progression later.

Most of all I wish you to have fun and benefit from the feeling of creating art and being the creative being you were meant to be. It is one of the very best feelings in the world.

Learning How to Draw Particular Things When Creating Art

Drawing, they say is a skill. It really is. Some people seem to have it from birth and maybe that's true but it has no bearing on whether you will be a good artist. Drawing is chiefly an exercise in close observation and hand/eye coordination. I have noticed that when I start to draw something from life, either a  person or still life, I begin by looking very closely as I try to put down the dimensions and indicators of size and approximate placing of features.

If things are going smoothly the picture begins to take shape and it will look like I am on the right track. The moment I notice the drawing losing the likeness to the subject I realise it is because I have started to get a bit 'guessy'. By that I mean that I start drawing more than looking and I begin to add in detail and strokes that are not there at all. I continue to draw in detail before I look up to confirm whether I am going in the right direction with the stroke etc.

When I paint a picture directly from my imagination I take a different approach. I draw things as they come out and I carry on with it. Some parts are a result of having practiced before and some are simply how I see them at the time. I finish the work and I say. 'That's how I draw'. 'My style'. 'My way.' 'It's grand'. 'I like it'.

Creating Art with Cats in Mind

Little Black Cat Silhouette Photograph - Parade Handmade

If I need to design or create a piece of work that includes cats or other animals I will start by making a few preliminary sketches of the things I find tricky. Some things are tricky to draw.

Cats for example are tricky for me. I have never practiced drawing them really though I have observed them over the last few years. They make the most beautiful shapes and poses with their elegant bodies.

Sitting with a pencil and paper trying to draw them helps me to really observe them. I can see what I don't know how to do yet. 'Yet' is the operative word. Perhaps I'm good at the ears and eyes but can't get the paws right yet or maybe I can't 'YET', get the proportion right or change the position at will without observing another time.
See what I mean? I never think that I can't. It is normal for an artist to do 'studies' before a piece.

How to Be Creative in a Nutshell

In a nutshell creating art is a lot about intent and getting out of your own way.

Like many things in life there are no rules unless you take them on. Go for it. Risk failure. Expect it. Embrace it. Keep moving through. You won't go far wrong.

Once you are still painting and creating art you are not failing you are one of many creative minds learning how to be more creative.

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