I'm Tammy. 


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    « The Interview Series: Natasha White | Main | Drawing at the Beauty Salon »

    Choice vs. Constraint


    When you create art - draw a mandala, a doodle, an art journal page, a painting - what works better for you... having a constraint or allowing yourself infinite choice within your art materials or the way you create the work? Do you regularly set constraints for yourself, or use a challenge or prompt? Or do you go for it, open-ended? 

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    Reader Comments (11)

    I almost always begin with a prompt or rule in mind and then as I keep working, I let it go if I need to.

    08.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshton Elaine

    I agree with Ashton. I like to start with a constraint (perhaps because of a surplus of supply options) and try to explore within that. But then I'm happy to let go when it feels right. I love prompts and seeing other people's work. Blogs have been such a great gift in that way.

    08.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLizzie Bo

    I usually start with a colour scheme. Colours and materials (papers, fibers, feathers, ephemera etc) inspire me more than any other thing.

    08.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSunny

    It's funny, for me it's kind of a toss up. I do both and I think it depends a lot on intention. If I sit down at my art journal with the purpose of unwinding and letting off steam just making some art I find constraint helps. But if I have a feeling in mind, something that I'm working through, I always need the full reign of my craft space so that I can get up and look around, dig out exactly the right thing as the process evolves.

    08.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBetsi Goutal

    Tammy, it really depends on my mood....I know this is a lame answer but if i'm in learning/growing phase then i like it open ended. Lately i've been in colored pencil mode so i need the restraints that that gives me. Love it either way...open ended or restraint oriented because the bottom line is doing something artsy! Cool pic up there too....btw :D

    08.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterEden

    I'm pretty much an open ended kinda girl. I never know what I'm going to end up with and I'll toss just about everything but the kitchen sink at it until something clicks. Just posted a new page earlier tonight !

    08.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Warren

    Hi Tammy, I do both as well. If I just need to art, but really do NOT have any kind of inspiration rolling around in the ole noodle, I'll just start coloring, usually with NeoColors. Then see what comes.
    More often, though, I have some starting point, a feeling, a word, a quote, or a color scheme that has struck my fancy. Everything builds from there.
    Great question, great conversation here :)

    I like constraints. I feel like I am most creative when given some sort of structure that I have to work within. When I was in college, my favorite poetry writing assignment was the sestina.

    08.14.2012 | Unregistered CommenterOlivia Lane

    I like both. But I don't like tight prompts. I like the freedom to let it meander in my own way, as I get into the process. Sometimes I come to a piece inspired by my muse, other times, I come to explore a prompt.

    08.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterNatasha

    I have so many ideas I can't constrain any of my ideas. I keep as many of my supplies in sight and have colour revolving around my studio. I use anything and everything when I feel like it. I don't use prompts just something that happens within my day.

    08.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterNatalie

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