The creative process of making art that I understand is often messy and non-linear. It involves following your gut instead of the opinions of others and knowing what you want to say with a piece. There are moments of certainty mixed with long periods of staring at an incomplete work, trying to decide what to do next.

When an artist starts out he or she is often strongly influenced by another’s work or style. It could be an attraction to color, subject matter or painting style. There’s also a preoccupation with finding the right tools and techniques such as how to make water look wet and so on.

You Won’t Be A Beginner Forever
There’s a lot to learn from both experimenting with different media and from studying the work of other artists. However, if you’re serious about developing as an artist, at some point you have to ignore the outside influences and start paying more attention to the ideas and subjects you are drawn to over and over, as they are speaking to you in a meaningful way.

You’ll begin to understand what you’re responding to in a subject and maybe even learn why. Follow that thread and you’ll begin to form a point of view about the subject that you’ll communicate through the work. In other words, you’ll find your voice and have something to say artistically. While it’s a long and difficult process for many, in time, the work introduces you to yourself and this is how artists develop works that are uniquely their own.

It Works For Modeling Too
Recently, my understanding of this creative process has come into sharper focus and it’s now the lens I see our craft through. As a result, what I want from modeling is very different from others. I no longer look at a model or a layout as an object that has to satisfy me. Instead, I bring my own internal satisfaction to the work because I’m clear about the direction I’m going in and what’s important to me about it.

Applying this process to modeling is what lead me to seriously question the conventional practices, and to look well outside the usual sources for ways to more fully express the vision of railroading I have. As suggested in the opening sentence, it’s been a messy process full of detours and dead ends. It’s taken a long time to reach this point but it feels like the right place for me to be, and I look forward to sharing more of what I’ve learned with all of you.

Regards,
Mike

2 Comments

  1. Chris Mears

    “it’s been a messy process full of detours and dead ends”

    Yes!

    It’s frustrating and those dead ends hurt like hell because in the time leading up to them we’re ramping up through a series of constructive steps that, from the outside, look productive and promising of something good to come…because we think “what works and what doesn’t” is limited to just technical skills like finding the best way to solder two pieces of brass together.

    We are more than a machine that just makes models.

    I’m learning that the thing I had to see in that trail of dead ends was not the evidence of disappointment and failure but a series of things that were elements of my combined experience. I feel high when it works because my work is not only satisfying my personal journey but its productivity is something I can share with friends who want to see me moving forward in my work and, in turn, life. Being able to see how each moment is an moment of iterative collaboration between the maker and the models makes this a life’s work–which helps during that emotional drop that happens when it’s time to start over.

    My gosh I loved how it felt to read this post this morning. The right words at the right moment. I’m so glad you write and share what you think.

    Chris

  2. mike

    Thank you Chris. It’s nice to be understood.

    Mike

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