This week’s epiphany:

Limiting myself is rather relieving…

I know this sounds pretty unintuitive, but let me explain:

I usually work with a bunch of materials and mix them all up.
At the same time, I usually have issues to get started, because, you know, there are so many things I want to do!
But when I moved into my new studio space four weeks ago, I didn’t take all of my stuff with me – only my most favorite materials like pens, watercolors, and stamps, plus a bunch of unfinished drawings and some paper. Due to several reasons I work on a commissioned artwork at home at the same time and need another bunch of materials there, like my acrylics and most of my brushes, inks, markers and a whole lot of other stuff I usually like to work with.
I was forced to split those masses of art supplies over the last weeks.

Which was great since something interesting happened: The fewer materials I had available, the easier I choose which one to pick and how to do the next step on paper. Ideas flowed onto the paper, and completely new and not so new things emerged while I had to work with those few things around me at the studio. A completely new, relieving experience!

Well, not really new because I know this phenomena from other situations well, but it didn’t occur to me that it was also true for my artistic work. The thing is, if I am forced to use only one tool at a time (can’t afford another one, don’t have access too…), I better come up with as many ideas how to use it as possible. I give you an example:

A pencil

20 Things you can do with a pencil:

  1. doodle
  2. draw
  3. draw light lines
  4. draw heavy lines
  5. draw bold shapes
  6. write
  7. make a frottage (use a pencil on a sheet of paper that lies on a rough surface)
  8. draw naturally
  9. draw abstract stuff
  10. erase (create white space)
  11. chew on its end
  12. lubricate a lock (seriously!)
  13. create a pinned-up hairstyle (Asian style)
  14. measure proportions of something you draw
  15. stick it behind your ear while you need your hands free
  16. piercing paper for whatever reason
  17. add a piece of thread and use it like a pair of compasses
  18. wrap strings of paper to create a basic coil shape for quilling
  19. cut tiny sculptures from it
  20. throw it away and take another drawing tool […]

There are probably more but you get the idea.

I found it really helpful to limit myself to only one tool or one technique now when I have issues to get started in the studio. Does this make sense to you? I hope so!

Limit yourself and have a good start today!
Love, Jessica