The Creative Process

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I've been getting a good amount of questions about my art recently…
Questions like:
Why do you make art?
How do you come up your ideas?
What does your artwork mean or represent?
How do you come up with the color combinations?

Here is my favorite - I really like your artwork but I just don't get it?!?

This is my attempt to explain my CREATIVE PROCESS and to maybe get you into the MIX of making art as well! ~ Cheers!
abstract painting by Kurt Erickson
Let me start off by expressing that I enjoy the PROCESS of making art just as much if not more than the finished piece! That being said, I think that our consumer-oriented society has squashed a lot of DREAMS not only in the fine art world but in all other areas of being creative including writing, music, drama and so on. We have all inherited the obsession of "THE PRODUCT", whatever that may be for each of us individually. So, when we see a piece of art… we are always thinking of it as a finished product and forget about the PROCESS of creating it.

What that renders down to: That thought process will squash us down before we even think about beginning a creative project. When always faced with thinking of an acceptable finished product, our project has come to an abrupt stopping point before even putting paint on the canvas.

My suggestion to you is to, "JUST DO IT!" Start! Paint! Throw down some colors and see where it takes you!
abstract painting by Kurt Erickson

As an artist, I believe that one of my goals is to go out on a limb or to try things/techniques that I've never done before. It's how I find my way to the next expression. That's really hard to do when an audience is expecting a particular product. I believe that it is important to follow my creativeness inside and not a market. Artwork must be deep and real within to be worthwhile, first to me and then to the viewer.

Where do you find creativity? I believe that it is in the PROCESS, not the product. Creativity is an action, it is active and never complete always morphing and becoming.
messy palette art studio - paint brushes

It's always fun and exciting to go into the studio knowing all that is waiting for me is a blank canvas or even one that is in PROCESS but yet to be finished. The freedom to play with my artwork by building up layers and finding new textures is where it's at for me. Being spontaneous and without a preconceived path is what I live for not only in my artwork but also in life…

Now, there are times for more developed ideas especially when working on commissions where clients have set out specifics like the subject, color theme or size of the artwork. I also develop more of a plan when working on some of my digital artwork. It seems that I have more of a storyline with my digital collages than with my paintings. Having different creative outlets contributes to a really nice balance of spontaneity and more deliberate kinds of artworks.
digital collage by Kurt Erickson

Most folks that have taken the time to read this aren't looking to be professional artists. There are no deadlines to be had for galleries or commissions, you aren't painting to fill a gallery wall for this weekend's show. So have some fun in the freedom of just creating, embrace the PROCESS! Pick up a brush! Play with a new technique! Let your guard down and CREATE something! Get out of your head and into your heart while letting the work flow. Dive deep into the PROCESS and with no worries about a finished product.
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