Category: Creative Process

The creative process

The term hand-made or hand-drawn is widely used even by illustrators and artists that work exclusively with digital means. When I started drawing I wondered what was the value of sketching on paper if you had an iPad, or why should anyone keep an illustrated journal if you could take pictures. All sorts of silly thoughts crossed my mind. I clearly didn’t understand the creative process at all.

I’m talking early 2013 when I started drawing spheres and cubes because I thought it was the only road to learning how to draw.

Now in 2015, I finally get the term hand-made or hand-drawn in an era of crazy powerful apps to create artwork.

Hand-made or hand-drawn means you started with the most basic materials: pencil and paper. And from there it grew into a gigantic array of possibilities.

The products shown above started with a bouquet of flowers my husband gave to me on Valentine’s day.



On a very cold Montreal winter day (-35 celsius) I decided to pull out my sketchbook.



Which then invited some watercolors and gouache  into the mix Read More

None of “practicing more”

I’m impatiently waiting to finish a class I want to write about here. Finishing that class involves much more than just checking it off my list like hundreds of others.

Something is happening. It has to do with witnessing in myself things I refused to see before, hiding behind the “practicing more until I’m ready”.

It’s so strange to see how we are drowning in a sea of advice. Every blog I read is full of it. And yet, none of it has touched me. And if you’re reading this and thinking about the elusive “someday” none of the advice will touch you either.

The self-help industry is soaring, the life and business coaches are getting our hard-earned dollars. Even in art, when everyone wants to be a writer, painter, designer, dancer or actor but rarely anyone wants to actually WRITE, PAINT, DESIGN, DANCE OR ACT.

The being and the doing seem to diverge in our heads. Make them converge.

Types of creatives

As I was avoiding large chunks of ice on my way home last night, I thought of a classification for creatives.

So far I’ve come with four:

  1. Creatives that have been practicing their art, discipline or craft since they were very young.
  2. Creatives that experienced a difficult episode in their life and used art or craft to get through it.
  3. Creatives with really good taste but that are waiting and waiting and waiting for the chance to try to produce something of their own.
  4. Creatives that  love to experiment with nearly everything that crosses their path and so they never create a consistent body of work.

This is interesting to me because depending on which type you are, the road to finding self-expression will be different.

The first two types have probably a lesser struggle producing their work, however I don’t necessarily want to go through a difficult time just so I can produce some form of art.

I can say with certainty that I’m the type 4 creative with a dash of 3.

For these two types, we can avoid ‘wasting time’ by identifying where we are. There are hundreds of books, classes and people who are trying to tell us how to be more creative, and if you get sucked down that rabbit hole you will become an expert in techniques on how to be more creative but you will not be more creative yourself. You will not produce more, you will not be prolific or grow as an artist.

I know, I’ve been there. And often I slide there still.

In my fall through this rabbit hole, I have become more and more critical of the online class offerings that have invaded the internet.  I don’t want to encourage anyone to spend hours watching a class that is not going to help them advance in what they want. I want to change the ratio of consuming vs. doing, so if I recommend a class it’s because I did the projects and I made something with it. At least if you see a recommendation from me, I can back it up with the work I did.

What type of creative are you?

Fear of the new sketchbook

Yesterday I went to Montpellier with a very specific mission: to buy a wonderful sketchbook for my visit to Florence at the end of August.

Getting to Montpellier isn’t very adventurous but it is a bit of a long ride.

I wanted to visit Le Géant des Beaux Arts, a fabulous Fine Arts chain store in France. The sketchbook I wanted, after reading through all the sketchbook reviews possible was the Fabriano Venezia. I also wanted a nice watercolour brush and a few drawing pens.

My visit was successful and not so expensive, I did wind up buying a tiny Winsor & Newton travel set too because, why not? I’ve been complaining about my Sakura set being too opaque and not layering nicely on paper. So I got a nifty Da Vinci brush made of squirrel hair and a Da Vinci flat brush.

Those are for my fashion illustrations, for sketching on location I’ll stay with brush pens for the moment.

I had my sketchbook! I couldn’t wait to get home and crack it open, make a first drawing. I would probably begin with a little Fashion sketch and then I might attempt to draw a street scene or something.

It is unexplainable and yet perfectly logical.

New sketchbook

The next day after my shopping spree I spent all day eyeing my Fabriano Venezia, wrapped in it’s plastic film.

In the morning I spent a few hours coding, doing Photoshop work and following an online class.

In the afternoon, I finished writing and revising a blog post.
At three o’clock I decided it was time to draw and paint. I looked at my sketchbook and decided to do laundry.

While the washing machine completed the cycle, I thought I would write a long email to a friend.
“After this email I will draw” I thought.

The laundry was done, I hung it out to dry.

I decided to go on Twitter. View my “Watch Later” list on YouTube.
Ok, I said, it’s time.

I put the sketchbook on my desk and suddenly I said, wait, I want to change the front picture on my website.
So I did that.

Then I decided to fold the laundry.

When I finally got around to drawing, I did not unpack the Fabriano, I took my little pocket sketchbook and drew the cover of this month’s L’Officiel.
Next, I looked at the old Moleskine that still had a couple of blank pages and decided to draw my kitchen.

It’s 9 p.m. and the Fabriano is still in it’s plastic film.