Making connections & solving puzzles

“Creativity is to discover a question that has never been asked.
If one brings up an idiosyncratic question, the
answer he gives will necessarily be unique as well.”
Kenya Hara

There are a lot of connections involved in making art. Not just connections, but problem-solving, toying with how things work, altering the variables to make them work differently. Leveraging the characteristics of a medium to make it do what you want it to do. Or accepting what it CAN do and pushing the limits anyhow! I feel like AFTER I get a good grasp on how a medium works, only then can I work intuitively and in the moment. It takes a certain level of comfort and intentional practice to do that. Maybe that makes sense and maybe it’s utter and complete nonsense. I’m sure my thoughts on this will continue to evolve.

See these 4 square cards? ↖️↖️↖️ Curves in gouache… that’s where the small format collage ⬇️⬇️⬇️ began. At the beginning, it was about painting with gouache, then the cards were sitting there and I wondered… what if I cut them into triangles? How would they fit back together, assuming I didn’t measure anything? So I cut them up, put together in different ways, cut another, re-arranged, combined, basically deconstructed and reconstructed different possibilities. It felt like a puzzle that I needed to solve. And of course there are many ways to solve this kind of puzzle!

I glued the triangles to an index card with glue dots [these are technically made for scrapbooking but quite useful for collage and very strong especially if you don’t feel like getting out the fluid matte medium]. At this point I decided to make an ICAD [index card art]… the little rainbowy triangles were inviting, like a path through darkness, maybe??? So I painted a deep blue indigo background and contemplated options. Decided to double down on this concept and stapled [10x] to yet another index card. With some mark-making and stamping, it was finished.

It’s not earth-shattering but to me it is interesting, and I like interestingness.

“Don’t be too focused on a specific outcome
or goal, instead focus on building your
craft by following curiosity and play.”
Julia Neubauer

ICAD 52: "there is something quite enchanting" involved perhaps the most wrangling & wrestling of any ICAD this year. It felt like a magic trick, pulling a rabbit out of a hat 🌟🎩🐰🤲 ultimately salvaged with a serendipitous STAPLER 👀 sighting! It all began with a rainbow 🌈🔮🧿 mandala on watercolor paper, cut up, re-arranged 🧩🧩🧩 smallified, glued to an index card... then the now-infamous stapler sighting and the rest is history!

How to generate more ideas?

Oh hey, before I go, I wanted to let you know that The Creative Nudge Vol. 02 is officially out in the world. Lots of ideas + creative prompts + activities + videos to get you into the creative groove.

I find that understanding how to use my tools & materials helps me pursue my crazy ideas.

The more comfortable I am with the brush, paper, and paint, the more free I feel to create. If you would like to nurture your creativity through art, spark your curiosity via a creative workshop. This is not cookie-cutter art. In my workshops, I share techniques that are open-ended and full of possibility. So pick a medium and join me! I teach workshops in a variety of mediums.

gouache, icadDaisy Yellow