Friday, July 22, 2011

First Rule of Creativity.

I've said this elsewhere, but I think I oughta elaborate on it here a bit: The first rule of creativity is, feed your head.

You need to stuff your brain full of inspiration - read more books, go to more movies, listen to more music, talk to more people, travel to more places, drink more booze. Then let all the input rattle around in your subconscious. You might just be surprised at the result.

Case in point: I haven't been creatively blocked in years. I've got notebooks and sketchpads full of untapped ideas that could keep me going for a long time to come. Surely I can't be unique in this regard.


Benoît Leblanc said...

Good advice, certainly, but I think the discipline you've demonstrated in creating new work daily even when it's not convenient is also extremely important. It's what turns outside experience into creative juice.

For my part, being a lazy bum with many interests, I find it easy (and damn tempting!) to become a strict consumer of information, of art, of stories, of activities, of training and so on, pushing back the time I'll pick up a pencil until tomorrow. And then when the time comes, I'm *that* much less confident and more fearful of trying things out.

Good thing that it's a trend that can be reversed with just a few days of working with ink or colors!

Good job on the blog, Howy, and thanks for sharing your insights and experience. Your example is inspiring.

Bret Taylor said...

Thanks again, Ben. And yes, the discipline is definitely a factor, but more of a factor in how I process the information than in how I take it in - this process had been extremely helpful in training my subconscious to be more creative.

Benoît Leblanc said...

Here's a question pertaining to the subject of creativity: do ideas mostly pop up in your head unbidden (in complete or embryonic form) or do you decide to build something based on some reflection, some concept or some object that you've come across? Or is it a bit of both? And are there pieces that you begin without knowing where they're going, kind of like Moebius' "airtight garage"?


- Ben

Bret Taylor said...

Definitely a bit of both - sometimes I've got the germ of an idea, but it's not quite there. So I do a little research, or I just do a quick thumbnail, and then I put it away. If it takes root in my subconscious, then it'll eventually grow into a more fully-realized concept.

Other times it'll be as simple as hearing a single word, or seeing a texture somewhere. In my head I'll see what's practically the finished piece.

Take the car illustrations, for example. There's basically three things I need to know before I start: the car itself (make, model, year, etc.), the camera angle, and the rendering style. If I've only got two out of three, the project goes back on the shelf.

As for the last question, I almost always know where I want to take a specific piece. It just doesn't always go there in the end.