Play & Explorations
I have discovered that playing with ideas and exploring various materials and techniques sparks inspiration, helping me overcome creative blocks. I consciously avoid being critical during experimentation, leaving space for self-exploration and growth. This approach facilitates the development of my ideas and insights, resulting in a series of preparatory studies for new works. As Chase Jarvis wisely said, 'Giving time for your headroom and exploration is mission critical for creativity.'
Creating mandalas is a meditative practice, guiding me to discover inner calm and tranquility. The process of mandala drawing is intuitive and spontaneous, and I find joy in creating intricate line mandalas embellished with loops and curves. Occasionally, I venture into constructing mandala motifs inspired by nature, weaving a grid of dots into harmonious designs. Recently, my exploration has extended to utilizing the ProCreate app, offering new dimensions to my mandala artistry.
Collecting collage papers has become my new interest. My collection includes vintage papers, wet-strength tissue, burlap, handmade papers, Indian mandala book pages, photocopies of my original mandala drawings, etc.
I enjoy the process of creating gel prints using Golden acrylic paint on wet-strength tissue paper, cardstock, high-quality magazine pages, and Washi Hosho and Kozo paper.
My creative toolkit includes hand-cut stencils, StencilGirl stencils, fabric fragments, Posca pens, stamps, threads, pastry brushes, and various tools, all employed to infuse my prints with captivating textures and abstract patterns.
Previously, I painted wet-on-wet straight from the paint tubes, but now I enjoy creating color studies and documenting them for future reference.
I have captured a snapshot of my array of texture-creating tools, and to thoroughly document their effects,
I have gone the extra mile to number each one :)
I use sketchbooks to sketch, journal, and document my ideas.
Additionally, I maintain a sketchbook that contains a collection of images of works by various artists that I find inspirational and fascinating as I scroll through my Instagram feed. Whenever I come across a piece that catches my eye, I take note of my interpretations to help me understand what draws me to the piece. For instance, is it the composition, color harmony, mood, materials, mark-making, or something else? I also reflect on how the piece resonates with me and whether it reminds me of anything.
In his book, "Steal Like An Artist," Austin Kleon said, "Nothing is original. All creative works build on what came before. Every new idea is a re-mix or mash-up of one or two previous ideas. To build your creative lineage, you don't want to steal the style, but you want to steal the thinking behind the style. Stealing something meaningful to you that you can actually use in your work. Combine those little nuggets with your thoughts and ideas, and transform them into something completely new. Put it out into the world so someone else can steal from you."
When self-doubt creeps in, and I question my self-worth, I refer to my sketchbook, which contains my favorite works since I became an artist. It reminds me of my persistence and determination, which helped me evolve to where I am today.