Recently to celebrate SG50, TAG Fine Arts represented artist Ewan David Eason launched a screen-print of his brushed gold Singapore map, as part of a bigger series entitled ‘Mappa Mundi’. We decided to catch up with UK based artist Ewan David Eason to ask him for his top ten tips on creating artwork.
1. Explore an idea
I always have a notebook on me to jot down ideas or pictures that I may want to develop. For all the interests that I discover I give each a month to explore.
2. Artist Date
Go on an ‘artist date’ by yourself once a week, a concept that comes from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. There are a number of ‘Dates’ you can go on, for example go to an exhibition or an art shop to buy materials. Go into nature, spend time in the countryside. Take time to stop and look at as much around you. Be inspired by the big and small. Photograph, draw, or write down anything that inspires you. A more comprehensive list of ideas can be viewed here.
Spend time studying or being taught. Read books / blogs / articles and watch films, documentaries on subjects that inspire you. Further inspiration can come from people who are practicing artists, either in institutions, colleges, universities or informal mentors.
4. Create an environment that you can create work in
This depends on the character of the person creating. I tend to live by the ‘messy space, messy mind’ attitude. If my studio or workspace is too messy I can’t concentrate or focus. Of course, if you are inspired by the mess or that is your subject matter, create the mess but then clear it up once it has adequately inspired. By clearing up and then potentially creating another controlled mess, you will be inspired again. Other tools for inspiration could be putting images or postcards on a wall to look at whilst you are painting, sculpting etc., also having easy access to inspirational books.
5. Experiment with an idea
Any ideas that you have written down or been inspired by, run with it. Spend time experimenting with all sorts of mediums or concepts that best express the idea. Work out what you want to say, and then work out the best way to say it. Don’t worry about making mistakes. In the process of creating you will create pieces that may look like a mistake or totally uninspiring, push through it and keep experimenting. The more you keep trying out ideas you will eventually find something that you know is complete which in turn becomes a launch pad.
6. Set yourself deadlines
If you don’t have an exhibition or event to show your work, set yourself deadlines to finish a piece or body of work. A good deadline I tend to find is a week.
Invest in a community of likeminded people who you feel safe to encourage or critique your work.
8. Get into a routine
If you are full time artist, work to a schedule e.g. 9 – 5. If you have another job but want to create art, set aside certain days or evenings that you can focus on creating artwork or exploring any of the above points.
Exhibit, perform, and recite. Get your work ‘out there’. See how it looks up on a wall. It in itself can inspire you to create more.
10. Exercise the idea
Like exercising, the more you train or work, the more you will discover what you can do.