I am struggling with the most essential question: how do you begin? I can’t even write this without overthinking how to start. You find yourself so intimidated by a blank canvas and a thousand potential directions. You edit and re-edit until you get frustrated and throw them all away, because after a certain point you feel like you stop making sense. So how do you solve that?
I met with a handful of classmates to talk about brainstorming and problem solving strategies. Where do you begin? How do you decide how to proceed? Everyone seemed to approach it differently, but everyone seemed to gain something learning how others worked. It seems to me that students can learn more studying other artists’ process than they can by studying their finished pieces.
So here’s what we got out of it:
Writing can open up your mind. Word associations, literary devices, synonyms, antonyms, onomonopias, hyperboles, personification, etc. Making lists and checklists, write critiques, recording things and returning to them with a fresh mind later.
Remembering the principals and elements of design to help hone your purpose and help eliminate superfluous features.
Relating imagery to push things farther. Get weird with it. Using google image search or looking through your own library of collected photos or artists can take you places you weren’t expecting to go. Setting up your workspace to be surrounded by inspiration, weather it’s from artists or your personal experiences.
Creating limitations for yourself with mediums, elements, etc. so that you are forced to experiment with what you have. It will keep your experiments controlled and force you to work differently.
Making duplicates with slight variations in composition or color. This can create dialogue or solutions for later projects. Using digital tools can help you visualize variations quickly without altering the original. Or make adjustments with elements and experiment with layers using tracing paper if you prefer to work with paper.
So how do you begin? How do you simplify a thousand possibilities?