In another post, I began to practice what I preach. I also called on my friend Bethany to join me in this project and discovery. And we have started it!!! We decided to swap artworks, which is one of my suggested practices for generating creativity.

We each selected artworks we just couldn’t finish, for whatever reason. We have abdicated ownership of said works and are starting fresh with this gift of an artwork that has just begun!

Here are photos of the original works:

Bethany's Unfinished Artwork

Detail of Bethany's Work

Carrie's Unfinished Artwork

So, my work actually had the entire figure to the left blacked out and a bit more drawing in black ink in the background when I gave it to her. We are both excited but also intimidated by this activity. As you can see, our works are drastically different. The only thing we qualified was saying we should somehow keep some integrity of the original work in our translation and reinterpretation. Of course, this is very loose and does not limit us all that much. I’m not even sure where to begin! I’m looking at it for a few days then painting something else so I can let my brain process and think on an idea.

It has also made me think about strategies artists use to create artwork. A few that have come to mind:

  • use a material in a non-traditional way
  • take another discipline’s process and apply it to the arts
  • unique substrates
  • focus on and manipulate a specific element and/or principle of art
  • use a material that is not traditionally related to the arts as artist tool (as surface or medium)
  • content that shocks
  • focus on material and ignore content
  • have work that is more conceptual and less about technique

I’m going to continually add to this list and consider ways of manipulating these strategies for myself. Perhaps I should do a post on examples of artists doing exactly this?! The other thing I’m considering is to actually practice and complete the assignments I give my students. Next year I will be changing my job and moving from art teacher to assistant principal, I think that would be the best time to actually practice these assignments I’ve doled out to others. I am very curious to know how this professional change will impact my creative process and development (which ties to an old post on creativity and jobs).

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: ACT NOW. If you don’t make art, if you don’t “do the work,” how can you expect anything to happen at all? Take the risk! It’s worth it. You are worth it. (Also feel free to add to my strategies list in the comments section!)

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