Drawing is an energetic practice that begins before making and goes beyond the made object. Every part of the process is essential and has its own magic.
1. noticing: an interesting thought or feeling arrives/occurs and is noticed
2. expanding: exploring possibilities, doing research, collecting, testing, reflecting
3. narrowing: making connections, clarifying, editing
4. naming: the specific question(s) and/or instructions for making
5. making: focused, engaged art practice (most often drawing)
6. knowing: the outcome of making, arriving at completed drawing(s) and/or project(s)
7. going beyond: committing, artist and artwork in world
There are false starts and restarts. Sometimes there is backtracking.
Occasionally, it is all smooth and easy. Everything is part of the process. -LP
< Louise Phillips, the creative process, drawings, ink on paper, 2020
In 2020, artist and teacher Genie Arnot challenged my understanding of the creative process. Together we took apart and examined my ways of being an artist. The exploration has made my art practice both more meaningful, sustainable, and joyou.
< Louise Phillips, the creative process, detail: the work and beyond, 2021
The photo above, shows the last two parts of a 3D model I made to show my creative process. The rusty washer represents a completed piece of art. The washer is a very solid form, and to me, beautiful. It seems to have every reason to be just as it is and has no reason to be otherwise. Suspended from the washer is a shiny sliver disc with a paper halo. Together the disc and halo stand for "beyond the artwork" or what happens when the artwork leaves the maker's hands. I was surprised to see "beyond the artwork" is larger and more active than the artwork itself.
When I made the 3D model of my creative process, I looked at the pieces individually and how they fit together. I saw harmony. Every part was needed to make the whole complete. It really became obvious that a strong going out into the world was missing in my own creative process. The making of the model and reflecting on it helped me understand more about being an artist.
In the late afternoon light, the model reflected light and radiated beauty. I captured the moment in a photo. Even though it was made of found scraps like discarded aluminum tart trays (in the second photo), I felt a wonderous hope in seeing beauty and possibilty together.
Seeing and acknowledging possibility is first. Fearless commitment to engagement, expansion, and exchange comes next. Connecting positive social change and the creative process is wildly sensible.
At Social Studio Baltimore, Genie Arnot teaches people to see throught art: explore, engage, express, expand, exchange, and empower. And discover what art excellence means. While making art; confidence, collaboration, connection, compassion, and community are created.
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