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Sunday, 16 February 2014

Documenting the creative process

I knew it was going to happen – in fact part of the reason I signed up for this course was to develop a better artistic process – our teacher said those dreaded words "you'll have to keep a visual diary".

I was about to tell you I don't know why I have such a problem with this, but I do. I'm not good with routine, with habit, with maintenance. Also, why keep notes about a project, when you could just get in and make it?
Left to right: Rose wallpaper, via Death of a Stylist,  Camellias by Rosemary*, @floretflower via Instagram.

As I get older though, I know that some ideas take time to develop, and if you don't have a reference to remember them by, they may be lost. I've also learnt when you put a project away for a while, and you wrote the ideas and measurements for it on the back of an envelope that's long since been recycled, it can make for a lot of heartache. I'm also beginning to wonder if I might be able to take my craft to a whole new level if I kept a visual diary, researched influences, kept references, started with sketches etc.

It's not that I don't make notes, do little sketches, or plan things out – it's just that it's all over the place – made wherever the inspiration strikes me and never followed through as a practice, or a consistent whole.
Clockwise from top left: @espe_floral via Instagram, dark floral wallpaper by Ellie Cashman design,
Valentino dress, Mexican embroidery – pic by Luana Rubin
So, here goes, our first project is titled 'Botanicals' (not in the strictest sense) and we've been asked to collect images of florals that follow a theme. So as to not make enormous amounts of work for myself this semester, I'm going to do whatever I can along a Mexican theme so I don't have to double up on research for my residency. In that vein my first collection of images are vivid florals on dark backgrounds.

I've collected them on Pinterest, and Instagram, clipped them out of magazines and even taken a few photos. Now I just have to take that final step and glue them into my visual diary... Here's hoping I can make this habit stick!

If you're interested, you can see the full Pinterest board for this theme and my second theme which is around 'stems, tone on tone and translucence' here.

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