Illustrators, I wrote about a couple of ways to get your creative juices flowing in Tuesday’s post, and want to continue that discussion. I mentioned looking at books by illustrators you admire, but there are also other ways to motivate and inspire, and they involve going outside your comfort zone by trying new techniques and media.
There is a book I am familiar with, written by MICA educator Whitney Sherman, titled Playing with Sketches: 50 Creative Exercises for Designers and Artists. It gives advice and hands-on exercises that will really move your work in new, creative ways. It is not a book that gives you rules; rather, it gives permission for you to break out of your normal way of doing things and explore. There is even a video, so you can get a glimpse of the book.
And speaking of videos, there are many tutorials available to us now, enabling us to watch other artists at work and see how they make their images. I have chosen a few as examples of artists who work in collage/mixed media. There is an art journaling mixed media tutorial by mixed media artist Marieke Blokland, titled I am Free, and a mixed media art collage called Three Little Houses by Nicoletta Zanella, another titled Gothic Halloween by an artist identified as Rach0113.
I recently explored the website of the extremely talented Denise Fleming, an award-winning author/illustrator of more than 20 books, including In the Small, Small Pond, published by Henry Holt and Company in 1993 which was a runner-up for the Caldecott Medal. Her illustration technique is paper making, and she includes a fascinating tutorial on her very wonderful website. I think it’s worth a view!
So, break out of your comfort zone! Get out those art supplies you haven tried in awhile and use them in a whole new way — you may be inspired and surprised.