On Creativity, Digital Art and Referencing.

3 08 2009

I went back home to spend some time with my family and visit friends. A friend of my mother came over to visit and, since she is a learning oil painter, I showed her my artwork. She started to ask questions about how I did my images and I started talking about the process, but she actually was very intrigued about the tools, so I took out my laptop and my tablet and showed her how I did it.

While I was trying to explain how the tablet worked, she said “No… but a face, how do you do a face”, and I started to model a face with a simple semi transparent round brush. To my surprise she said “Oh, but then you have to be able to draw!!”. I was shocked and a little appalled… I realized that we, digital artists, still need to educate the people. It is not bad will from their part, it is just a lack of knowledge.

After we cleared the point of me being able to draw by myself, she asked me if I copied, and where from. So I tried to explain her the concept of referencing. It proved to be harder of what I thought. The idea of taking several photos, and compose them into a new original idea, not copying any of them really seemed really hard to grasp. copying and referencing are two different things.

How I work with references to create a new image.

How I work with references to create a new image.

She then told me that her problem is the lack of creativity, she can copy, but cannot create. Talking to my mother later, she told me that creativity cannot be learned, that you have it or not. I am not quite sure about it. I think that by watching other people’s art, by studying other artists’ work, we can start to get our own ideas. If a person studies composition, then it might be possible that in order to balance an image a new element is added to the painting. This is part of the creation process, the addition of new elements to generate a new and original work.

I believe that through hard study and watching other artist’s works creativity can be stimulated, I really think it is something that can be learned. Maybe if you were not born with a talent for creativity you will not be as creative as the art team of, let’s say, Coraline, but you will improve your own. What do you think? Can we learn to be creative?


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4 responses

3 08 2009
Jon Hodgson

I’m a firm believer in creativity being a muscle that needs to be exercised and developed. You can learn strategies and modes of thinking that make you more creative.

Funnily enough I was writing about just such a thing this morning: http://jonnyhodgsonart.blogspot.com/2009/08/making-ideas-from-fresh-air.html

3 08 2009
faerywitch

I agree with you, I really believe that you can exercise anything in you and make it better. I tried to comment in your blog, but I could not. I wanted to say that your post is very good.

3 08 2009
Annah Lång

As creativity is something that has to be nurtured I certainly believe anyone can learn it. It just might come a bit more naturally to some and take more work for others.
Pretty much what Jon said above =)

4 08 2009
faerywitch

Agree with you, hun, I think you can improve yourself in anything you set for.

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