We often explore why we make. But what about how we make?
I’m not talking about technique but about the process.
How does that something, that did not previously exist, start its life in you? How does it evolve, develop, become solid and tangible?
Have you ever looked at your making process in detail? And is it even desirable to do so?
How long do you take to let your creations gestate? How much of what you make is designed from the start?
How do you design your ideas? Neatly in a sketchbook, on the back of an envelope, in the bath, out in nature, in the wee hours when you can’t sleep?
How much evolves through serendipity and chance? Do you subdue your medium to your design or let your materials lead the way – or both?
I often say to my students that mosaic materials are like characters in a novel – they have a life of their own and you need to let them lead you…
How much of your ideas are ‘original’ (is there anything new under the sun?) and how much are fusions of different ideas sparking round your brain from a multitude of sources and experiences. And…yes yes, how do you know if you are crossing that fine line between inspiration and imitation?
A new exhibition, Mindful of Silver , starts tomorrow through to 26th July at Goldsmiths Hall in London, exploring the making process of silversmiths and touching on many of these themes. I read an article about it in the paper (on the plane to Glasgow where the sun is still not set and its nearly 10pm!) and was intrigued by the questions it posed.
A few hours later I saw this video by mosaic artists, mentor and amazing teacher, Sonia King…exploring the mosaic making process.
There is much richness in these two sources that can help us step back and explore the how of our creative process. For anyone that values mindfulness, it sounds like a healthy avenue of contemplation don’t you think?