From purpose to idea to creation | Catch My Job


As an artist, it’s a fairly common occurrence to look at a blank sheet of paper with paint and a paintbrush, ready to strike, waiting for inspiration to strike. Be it sculpture, painting, sketching or drawing, creating something unique, that speaks to our artistic sensibilities and also sparks the interest of those who see it, is what most artists strive for. And while creativity is entirely subjective and deeply personal, it is a difficult commodity and, with it, the artistic process becomes even more elusive.

In fact, in most cases, the artistic process is perhaps the most interesting part of any work of art. Take Diego Velázquez’s 1656 painting ‘Las Meninas’ which is the subject of debate, study and even books to this day. Each analyzes and tries to understand how this imaginative and complex work of art evolved from conception to production. And although there is no set formula that can describe the different stages of this process, due to the intimacy of thought involved in creating art, there are certain key stages that artists rely on.

Motivation is fundamental to creativity and creativity requires ‘flexibility of mind’

An artist must be constantly curious about the world and everything in it. French visual artist Henri Matisse encapsulated this thought perfectly when he famously said, “Creativity takes courage”. For those who understand the spark of inspiration and the challenges and nuances involved in channeling it into creative expression, these words truly resonate.

Like most things in life inspiration is something you have to go out and find; It comes from stimulating the mind and feeling, as well as opening yourself up to sensations unknown and yet to be explored. Whether it’s meeting new people or visiting new places, inspiration strikes when you least expect it and often requires breaking away from routine and exploring the world from different perspectives.

From inspiration to execution – translating something intangible like a feeling or vision into something tangible

Bringing an idea to life in any medium of art takes a lot of introspection and intention. Once inspiration strikes, most artists find that it takes time to refine and fully develop it into a version that matches the image or concept in their head. The process of experimenting with forms, materials, and techniques enables just one type of filtration process that some of the greatest artists of all time have employed in creating their work.

In fact, Pablo Picasso’s creative process was highlighted in 2020 at the Royal Academy of Art in London titled ‘Picasso and Paper’ which showcased around 320 drafts of the artist while creating some of his most famous works. The exhibition included creative early works such as his 1937 black and white oil painting ‘Guernica’, a refutation of the German bombing of the Spanish city, and his 1907 creation ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’.

The actual process of creation

Once an artist has identified the right tools as well as materials and is able to successfully translate an idea into a blueprint for the final creation, it’s finally time to bring that idea to life. This stage requires patience and plenty of it. The amount of time an artist spends on a piece depends on many factors, such as the medium, technique, and especially how much time an artist is able to devote to focusing on the creation. At this stage an artist must pour every ounce of themselves into creating something that accurately reflects their vision and vision and must not be rushed.

Leonardo da Vinci who was famous as a procrastinator. His most famous work ‘Mona Lisa’ took three years to complete. In fact, some speculated that it took him longer considering that many of the pieces he was working on at the time remained unfinished.

This brings us to the final stage of the artistic process – reflection.

While this time may wash away an artist’s sense of accomplishment, it allows the artist to view the newly born creation from the intention with which it first began. Art is meant to evoke emotion and it must first do so with its own creator. Post-Impressionist painter and French artist Paul Cézanne rightly said, “A work of art that is not based on feeling is not art at all.” And if an artist can step back and look at his work and feel the same emotion that inspired its creation, then that’s something really special.



The views expressed above are the author’s own.

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