Creating unconventional creative art
So often artist utilize traditional materials and techniques in their creations. This is a great way to continue to develop certain techniques, style and test your ability compared to others in your field using the same methodology. Personally, I have been a mosaic artist and utilized the age old materials of stone, glass and tile in a variety of personal and professional pieces. Although these same materials have been used for centuries in mosaic, there is always a unique composition each artist brings to this medium. This also holds true for paint, ceramic, sculpture, textiles and every form of creative art out there.
It's always refreshing when viewing others art when the " how did they do that?" is a foremost thought. This shows someone took their creativity to a place few have went. Often this can be ordinary material applied in a new way but sometimes it's so out of the box of standard practice it is truly inspirational. This is the realm I often find myself in. I'm not trying to be inspirational to others but just seeing if a idea can come to fruition. I've experienced varying degrees of success on different projects but to say it's challenging is a understatement. Typically there is little reference material to help and truth be told I don't even look due to the fact that it's time consuming and can be a needle in a haystack. Then also that needle may not exist or someone's opinion can be deflating in your desired ambitions.
So off I go into the unknown with this idea in my head, not much of a clue how to accomplish it, but determined to give it a shot. This has led to numerous ideas tried, then abandoned, brainstorming, try again, brainstorm, try again. It can be frustrating, liberating, defeating, joyous, celebratory and basically a years worth of ups and downs all in one project. "But why do this to yourself?" I have asked myself. The answer is always the same, to see if i can make it happen and go somewhere I haven't been before. This is something I feel has always seperated some artists from others. There are some artists who do seascape painting exclusively, they are extremely accomplished and their portfolio can be largely similar works with a common theme throughout. Others portfolio or studio looks like a multiple personality disorder gone physical. And for better or worse this is where I reside.
So recently, I decided to do a piece for a "trash art show" thats parameters were to up cycle used material headed for the landfill. This concept takes most people outside their ordinary discipline and it's always fun to see what can be created. Some creative thinking, visualization, material availability, problem solving are just a few qualities needed in this arena. So off I went into the unknown. Lucky for me I just recently had created quite a nice collection of empty beer cans. BTW I did this for arts sake I promise. So that was my material. I had no idea what to do but started cutting the top and bottoms off of about 20 cans. Then I started laying these pieces of rectangle aluminum on a piece of construction waste plywood hoping inspiration would come. Over a couple beers ( I mean material gathering) at a friends house I decided on a concept and off I went. So cut, cut, cut, staple, staple, staple, glue,glue,glue things started coming together but not to my likeing. The metal wouldn't stay glued to other metal, so I tried three different adhesives. Tried discreet fasteners with no luck. Once again think, try, think, try and over time got most things to stay. Unfortunately, in this process some things migrated, got distorted and it kind of took on a mind of its own. Needless to say except for one stubborn piece it's finished. Is it my original vision? No. Am i proud of it representing me and my skills? Not really. Is it going to be entered In the show?Very unlikely.
This is part of the creative process and it's OK. Try, do, and see where it leads you. I have also been way out of my element and had major successes and a few failures. For those of us who don't mind leaving our comfort zone it's sometimes the challenge of "can I make this work" that is part of the journey. And let's face it how many innovators played it safe and didn't stumble a few times along their way to big achievements. So like the saying "you win some, and you lose some" applies. I admire anyone who is willing to give something a try and give it their best. My only advice is "see it through". You may surprise yourself at what you are capable of and make a ordinary item or material reinterpreted in a new light. In this realm the biggest compliment someone can give me is "how did you do that?" and I have heard that more than a few times:)
The pics in this article are of my aluminum can Heliconia piece( described above). Also a 4' x 5' Hawaiian Petroglyphs cement sculpture, a misc. random material light catcher ( approx. 2' length) , Turtle made out of granite, marble travertine waste,Mosaic entryway, beach art and shelves made out of antique plantation doors cut in half and supported by antique bottles. Just a few of the times I went to a new realm and came out the other side more skilled, artistic, problem solving, and well rounded as a artist, creator and person.