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Mix It Up

If you've found your unique creative way and it's working for you and you're enjoying it, yay, you, keep going! Yet, if we lock ourselves in to just one approach, technique, or way, we may get in a rut, doing the same thing over and over, and possibly distancing ourselves from a further Eureka! or masterpiece. 

I've been most comfortable sketching in ink then watercoloring, it's my go to method when capturing an idea. Recently, what with extra time while socially distancing, I took out all my art supplies (and I'm a bit of a hoarder in this department; I've had some of these materials for decades, mostly unused; and even included a set of Neocolor II crayons that I was given as a child when I was in solitary recovering from scarlet fever). I found an untitled painting by Ozz Franca and decided to try recreating it, or something slightly like it, with every art material I own. I started a new sketchbook, aiming to just play and experiment and mix up materials and styles for awhile. No pencil outlines first, just went for it on each page. You can see some of the results here

The verdict? I still love watercolors, but suddenly I'm also enamored with a variety of chalks, pencils, markers, inks, even ballpoint pens. I discovered I can make reasonably decent pictures even with crayons, love so many art materials, and really enjoyed mixing them up. I'm not sure how this will play out in my art and illustration, but I now have a sketchbook filled with a variety of techniques that I can browse for ideas when illustrating a new project. The learnings have given me confidence in my abilities as an artist, and have propelled me to want to create more.

Off I go to do that, and next time you get a chance, try mixing up your creative approach and materials. Try new things, let stuff come together in new ways to open your creativity. Don't try to make it perfect, just play, mix, mingle, and see what you get. 

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