As I continue to grow my business and work on honing my craft there are often long periods where my ability commit to longer-term personal projects is not possible.
When I first started my business, these periods could become frustrating because I felt that there were tasks I wasn’t able to complete before I could progress to my next step on my journey. In that place, I could often feel stagnant and uninspired.
Journaling and generative art are two of the easiest ways for me to break out of that funk, and the best way to keep me out of it in the first place if I’m being honest. Committing to journaling or sketching, no matter how brief has personally yielded many gains even when I felt I didn’t have much to contribute at the time.
Creation is a state of flow, and to keep the flow going, even if it is just a trickle is the key to perpetual motion in my experience. Recently, I decided to create a generative art sketching “game” for myself called “something different, something new“.
The idea is that I can sketch whatever I want, and it can be deliberate and dedicated when I have the time & energy, or loose and esoteric if I feel so inclined. With that said, each sketch is not completed until I have done “something different” and “something new”.
“Something different”, to me, trying something that I’ve not included in a piece of art before or trying something in a way that I wouldn’t normally do for a piece of “finished” art.
That can mean simply cropping it off center, trying a technique I find repulsive, using colors I dislike, etc. This is a wonderful way to jolt me out of resting on my laurels and developing bad habits of making the same choices repeatedly.
“Something new”, is just that. Something new. Sometimes, it can look similar to “something different”, but then again most “new” things are different at first to you.
Often times, “something new” means executing a new technique or trick that I’ve learned. The challenge here is to integrate this new knowledge into the piece so that it becomes seamless and doesn’t stand out from the rest of the design.
Inputting these two small but very deliberate decisions for each sketch has helped me develop a new way of thinking. As a result, I have cultivated a new approach to both my sketchbook and art in general. A personal exercise became a transformative learning experience for me and thought it was worth sharing.
Below are some of my favorite results from this exercise.