:: 2/12/2013 :: 

Exercise: Creating New Content for Art Making

What to do when you run out of ideas, concepts and

content for your ART?

Graff Can

Have you run out of ideas, concepts and or content for creating new works of ART? Lets create a new techniques shall we? It is important to know and understand how we learn. You could apply this exercise below to any form of creative development. The trick is to become aware of the fact that YOU can create new methods yourself, but today, I’m going to share one with you. Feel free to add to this, build upon it, and share it. Perhaps you are looking for something you do not want, like distractions! Has that Ego gotten in the way… again? Distracting you for countless hours? Lets create your new Formula: change by actually changing what you do… A very simple exercise for realigning yourself with your creative thought and action process. Read this, then read it a second time and then try it! Trust me.


Step 1. The Single Written Word Brainstorm Session 101- On a piece of paper write out a list of all of the single words that represent the modular parts of yourself. This could begin with your morals, values, personality traits, desires, fears, perceptions of the world, places in the world that you have been, favorite colors, favorite people, world events that you resonate with, things that you dislike and or any other content that you connect to as a part of your life. (Think in Nouns if you must) The list can have over 100 words and continue building as you use the exercise, but start with 20- 25 single words.

Technology Affair

Step 2. Begin to create and assemble your personalized Visual Image data base: This should be a folder or a place / space where your new content can easily be accessed. Now, while looking at your list, read it over, see what you can edit. Add something, remove a few things. Now, begin a series of reflective exercises that allow for you to do one of the following techniques for manifesting images for these words: draw, capture, cut out, scan, photograph, discover, paint, record, edit, and convert all of these single words into a single tangible 2-dimensional visual image. One word at a time. Yes, this will be time consuming, but at the same time it will help you narrow down your single word results to the most objective images that you really want to work with. This will also help you stretch the boundaries of HOW you acquire content. It is your intention to shake things up a bit, to induce a new method and pattern of discovery. A discovery about yourself and what you resonate with. This invokes further changes as you repeat the process! You may realize that you can find and or create multiples of each one of these words, that is great, do so if you can. Isolating each word is a challenge to create multiples. Variation is a strong and essential principle of design.


Step 3. Exercises for Choosing and placing Content as a Composition: This part should be interesting, fun and thought provoking. Now that you have brainstormed a series of words that you resonate with, and have formed or gathered some images of these words/ things/people/places you may now start to think of arranging them together into a composition. A composition is the visual ordering of HOW the elements and content are arranged with in a specific space. Lets say that you have a canvas that is 20 inches square, those boundaries represent your picture plane. Lets say that you have narrowed down your content to these words: This can be completely random at first, so ALLOW your intuition to explore and then express itself. You can pick it apart after the fact by asking endless questions. This will assist the critical thinking process. (and that is a whole other blog post) So, here are my random elements as an example: New York City, Bananas, Communicator, & Helicopters. This is totally arbitrary, but at this point your can begin to play with the foreground, the middle ground and the back round. By placing the images / content onto or into the picture plane. (The images can be cut outs from magazines, digital prints, silk-screen prints, drawings, rubber stamp prints, or any other kind of images.) Ask yourself: What image should be closest to the viewer? What falls in between the furthest point and the foreground? Can these images become hybrids based on their form, and shape? What if you reduced the content to simple forms, like silhouettes? Arrange the images multiples times, see what you connect with. You may want to take some digital photos and save them as references, you can do this whole exercise using Photoshop if you are a digital person. Either way, the process itself will create a new understanding in process and action. Feel free to glue the images down if you want. The final outcome may begin communicating with you, it may ask you to add more content. You will give birth to a “next new something”!


Step 4. Make sure this FUN, learning is a process that you actively want to participate in. By choosing content that already excites or inspires you will induce the best results. I know you will surprise yourself.


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