Friday, 22 November 2013

Creative DNA

I'm reading Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit. There are so many nuggets of brilliance in this book, but one in particular stuck with me recently.

We have creative DNA. When we are in tune with our creative DNA we see patterns and qualities span our work across media, specific qualities that make our work uniquely ours. These aren't taught or developed, they are a natural reflection of our way of being in the world, our way of seeing and experiencing life. Our creative DNA.

It's true.

[ late night scribbles ]

Part of the learning process is that we try on everything we see and like, but after awhile our own true voice starts to shine through and we define our own style. This kept me up a little while ago, my mind alive with thoughts and questions. Soon I was up out of bed, sitting at our kitchen table, pouring over my thoughts in the middle of the night. Here is what I found:

Who I am as a person and an artist has always been there. When I was a dance student I was busy making paintings with typography elements and moving bodies to accompany my choreography work. When I was a design student I was busy making my designs a hybrid of digital art filled with falling letters and typographic experiments. To this day I am yearning to integrate my art and design in new ways that feel right to me, and it sometimes feels a little elusive. I love the art I'm making and it feels right, but there's definitely more waiting to be realized (always will be). Here's what I distilled as I burned the midnight oil…

[ exploring my creative dna with late night journaling ]

Here's the core of my Creative DNA:

1. Movement - a feeling of energy and elements swirling and moving
2. Type
3. Organic and feminine lines and shapes/ intricate patterns

4. Rich saturated colour (not necessarily bright, but rich)
5. Tells a story, often a personal one
6. Touches a personal and human note
7. Uses graphic design principles (tension, lock, hierarchy, clusters, contrast, grid, white space, asymmetry)
8. Layers that fluidly blend into each other
9. Beautiful moments of messiness and incompleteness (juxtaposing tidy and raw)

If I'm working on a project or painting, and all of these elements are present, it feels right. That's how I know I'm being true in my process. There's endless room for my style to evolve, and it will, but my creative DNA will continue to be my guidepost. And so, my head is swimming with visions of tumbling type, intricate patterns, raw mixed media and emotive elements. It's all there, and it always has been. My studio awaits me!

Isn't learning about ourselves the most amazing and challenging life-long journey? xo

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