Book in progress... (3/3)

Hi there,

Well, this little book is chugging along nicely, but I’m going to admit something – when it comes to illustrating, I don’t really know what I’m doing till I do it. Call it inspiration from another realm, or, erhem, trial and error, but I’m a self taught, make-stuff-up-as-I-go-along kind of gal.

Fortunately, I’m not working to a publisher’s deadline, so I can afford the luxury of time, otherwise, letting things unfold and changing your mind regularly, isn’t the most efficient use of time. But this is why working digitally is so perfect for me. I can undo a bad hair style, change the colour of a t-shirt, flip a picture to face the other way, all with a few keys and digital brush strokes. Put it this way, if I were to illustrate like Lynley Dodd, with coloured pencils and watercolours, I’d have an overflowing bin full of screwed up paper, wet with tears of frustration.

I do love sketching and painting, but in terms of creating a book, I enjoy the ability to experiment without the risk of ruining what I’ve already done. I’m lucky to be a creative of the 21st century. I get to express my art in a way that’s flexible and adaptable enough to match my levels of caffeine-induced concentration.

So, on that note, this little musing is about finding an outlet and method which best suits the workings of your unique creative mind. I often hear people say they’re so uncreative, they can’t even draw a stick figure – but I bet they can take a beautiful photo, put together an outfit, landscape a garden, cook and present food, create with words, knit, sew, dance, make music, build, or style a home – the list goes on. I reckon we all have a creative streak. It just needs to be tapped into.

Why bother? Ah, because it’s escapism and focus both at once. Not only are you producing something, but activating the creative right-hand side of the brain. This has been shown to have the same stress-reducing healthful benefits as meditation. When you’re unsure and uninspired, well, you just turn on the tap and see what happens – you’ll eventually find your flow. Maybe even Vince was a trial and error kind of guy, too:

If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced - Vincent van Gogh