Creative Process

One thing I'm often told is, "Oh, you're so creative! I could never do that."

This is perhaps one of the biggest compliments and yet the most disappointing things to hear. I love being creative and making. If I go a few days without a project, I get antsy and cranky . This is how I know I've found what I love - that I can't go a day without doing it.

Although this is my passion and my new vocation, for others it might be a hobby, something to dabble in. For those who are truly afraid of their "lack of creativity," maybe it's only a dream.

Here's a favorite quote of mine:

"The creative adult is the child who has survived." - Ursula K. Le Guin

How many of you remember being a kid and having the most fantastical times? Did you make art? Colorful and strange, with an elaborite meaning. Maybe you were a writer? I have two sisters who write. One had more of a dramatic flair and the other was humorous, but both dreamed up amazing storylines.

Maybe you didn't create anything as a child, but I'm sure you played your little heart out. I remember gallavanting around the woods behind our house, concocting crazy stories and having a great time with my sisters and friends.

To me, this is a creative child. The freedom to think, and those thoughts are not hindered from being expressed. In a child's playtime, the rules are the ones they make; rarely are they realistic.

As an adult, I'll sit down to make and realize how "trained" I am. I look at a piece of paper and immediately think logistics: "How much white space to leave?" "Which color palette should I use today?" "What kind of characters should I paint? Do their bodies look wonky?" "What about the rule of thirds??" "Perspective? Nahh..."

This incessant art school chatter makes me crazy. It's when I block out the rules and let my ideas flow through the brush - that's when I am truly making with abandon.

When I want to start a piece, I usually listen to music and let the melody and lyrics inspire a scene. I want to tell a story through each drawing. My first interpretation of the lyrics allows me to "go with my gut" and be excited about what I'm making.

What does your creative process look like? Do you keep rules or do you throw them away for the sake of creativity?

Marni Manning - Artist

Join the e-mailing list
I agree to receive monthly email updates from Marni Manning Art