The creative process

Den här texten om skapandeprocessen har publicerats på svenska i ett separat blogginlägg.

English is not my native language and I am grateful for comments if you find something that I have got completely wrong linguistically 🙏

Big words. The creative process. An inexhaustible subject I belive. If you could write comprehensively about this process there would probably be a whole series of books. I am going to give you a few reflections that I have made for myself on the subject 😊🌻

I started painting again after a long break. And then I found my own expression in painting. From several texts that I have read I understand that this has been the case for other people as well after a longer break. Somehow all the tecniques that I have tested and tried before matured over time and now was the time for the result to emerge. And the flow.

Even if I feel that I have found my home it is a constant progress, which I love. The creative process is in a continual, neverending progress. I love the feeling of developing and to create. For me and many others it is also a process of healing and joy of life.

But the creative process and creating art/pictures/paintings etc. can also be a challenge. Which is wonderfull and sometimes a struggle. Many people can, as I can, relate to the feeling that your art didn’t turn out the way you wanted or pictured; the vision doesn’t come through. You can also feel that you get stuck in troublesome passages when you’re painting (/other technique). Sometimes you don’t know if it´s good, it just feels wrong and ugly. What to do?

  • A intuitive, free creation is the foundation of my process Almost every time I have a feeling and a vision, and I often use inspirational pics for my vision. Sometimes I have a physical object for inspiration. BUT I don’t strive to achieve an exact vision, it is more of a starting point. Within free creation a lot of things happens along the way and the outcome will not be what I “expected”. And that is not the intention. Sometimes the artwork comes close to that vision I had as a starting point but more often it takes a lot of turns and sometimes the result is even something entirely different. Like my painting “Window with a view” – I entended to paint a door in a wall but it became a window with a view from a house.
  • I have decided that nothing I create has to be “perfect” and it is always good if it feels good If I over think and worry about the artwork not becoming what I expected I overdo when painting. And that compromises the feeling or the “soul” of the artwork. Instead that feeling or “soul” is what is important. When I trust the process I make art that I like. Instead of criticize you can challenge yourself, which can lead to a more pleasurable creation.

Doubts, difficult passages in the process / the artwork, everything turns out ugly etc.

There is probably a lot of people who recognize them selves in these parts of the process. Here I have reached some important insights that works for me.

  • The creative process / paintings etc. is a lot more about reflection and waiting for things to develop, than I used to think. It can also be relaxation of one self and to get inspirational input. Nowdays I see this as a natural part of being creative. Recovery is important (to take a nap or even a day watching TV can be exactly what’s needed, as long as it’s about recovery and not about procrastination).
  • Even if recovery is a part of the process I also need and want to keep up the creativity on a daily basis, or as often as possible. I don’t have demands of result and every moment counts. I have the privilege of having a room where I be creative and paint etc., and sometimes just being in there puttering around is enough. Maybe I look at my paintings, reflect over a color etc. if I am not painting/drawing/doing crafts that specific day.
  • I work on several projects at the same time. Before I used to try harder and harder in difficult passages of painting, one painting at a time. But I have noticed that for me it works better to let the painting rest for a while when it happens. If I am in a phase of doing, put color on an artwork and achieve results I switch to another project instead. I often have several ongoing paintings and other projects in the making. Wall clocks for example, I like to remake and paint them to create something new. One of the paintings will be the main project, one artwork of some kind is the second project and the rest are side projects. If I need some rest from painting at the moment I might do a small home decor project. Sometimes I draw instead of painting.
  • Using and being in the process and to get to know your process. I have a constant flow, more a flood actually, of motives and I pick what has to come out first. Sometimes several at a time. My process has both parts that are explosive, when I often create the larger structure of a painting in one or few occasions, and bits of calm and tranquility. That is when I develop details, make changes etc. It is important to follow the process and prioritize it in my life. If I discourage it I will also discourage myself. This will effect my levels of energy and my whole life, it is important for my well being to find balance.
  • Other strategies based on what brings joy and bringing myself forward – For example I have begun to work a lot more with structure as a foundation in my paintings because it kind of ties together different techniques that I like (art and crafting). The structured fondation also makes it hard to get stuck in “unnessecary” details when I paint because of the texture.
Sometimes you need to start over. It had potential to become good but it wasn’t what I wanted to paint and this time I chose to start over and repaint because it didn’t feel right.
Example of moodboard
I made a moodboard for my vision for the painting, which I often do. The purpose is to enhance the vision and keeping it alive (I don’t paint the pictures). I have blurred these pics in the example because I have googled them and don’t own the copyright. Sometimes I use my own photos.

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