what about chip monk beer art

A Creative Life, animals in art, Art Licensing, artistic inspirations, small things, Sustainable creativity

Five years ago I’d done an original artwork, inspired by beers here in the Pacific Northwest, titled “Chip Monk”.  Well, the original sold about 10 minutes after it was hung on the gallery wall. Fast forward 5 years and I’m still getting comments about and requests for that particular image. Some even asked me multiple times “Will you please make a print of the Chip Monk?”

So, because I love my fans, I’ve done an art print of it now, titled “Chip Monk Beer”, via Society 6 – https://society6.com/sueclancy – and I also applied the art image on a few other items. Enjoy! And thanks everyone for your support of my artwork!!

chip-monk-beer378158-framed-prints

art of songbirds on blooms

A Creative Life, animals in art, Art Licensing, art techniques, artistic inspirations, creative thinking, drawing as thinking, pattern design, sketchbook

Early one morning I was standing outside waiting on Rusty, my dachshund, to “do his business” and saw several song birds singing in my blooming Camilla bush. I doodled an idea in my sketchbook using a ball-point pen. (Yes, I keep a pen and sketchbook in the pocket of my bathrobe) By the time Rusty had finished up “business” I’d finished my sketchbook work. A few days later I began creating a finished surface design inspired by those song birds. Here is my artwork in progress:

DSC_0008

To create this design I’m using my cut paper mixed media collage technique – the same one that I use to create my fine art.

Then after several more days of “short burst” work on my design I declared it “finished” and submitted it to VIDA for addition to my signature collection: http://www.shopvida.com/collections/sue-clancy

Here are the two newest “signature collection” apparel pieces with my “Songbirds On Blooms” design:

And of course I’ve a few more plans for this design but more about that later.

 

designing a creative life 3 ways

A Creative Life, art techniques, artistic inspirations, creative thinking, drawing as thinking, mental health, sketchbook, Sustainable creativity, visual thinking

“Art cannot be separated from life. It is the expression of the greatest need of which life is capable. And we value art not because of the skilled product, but because of its revelation of a life’s experience.” – Robert Henri (American painter).  

I’ve been thinking of that quote today – and thinking of the people who have told me that they want to “be more creative” but aren’t sure how to start or what to draw. I’ve been thinking of how easy it is now for me to find subject matter. But it wasn’t always so.

As a young art student one of my first college assignments was to “do a 4 foot by 4-foot painting in acrylic of any subject matter but it cannot be abstract.”  Well that was a stumper. What to paint?  My professor went on to tell my class about how we needed to look around our own lives, our own experiences and find subject matter there.

That helped somewhat but still… what to make art about? My college life seemed boring and un-dramatic. How to identify subject matter I cared about?

I muddled through the school assignment and over the years got better at coming up with subject matter. It took even more time for me to figure out that a system of “short bursts of creativity” worked best for me but here’s what I’ve learned on my personal quest for the fountain of continually-interesting-to-me artistic subject matter:

A.   Keep a daily sketchbook, 5 to 10 minutes of work at a time, in which I draw or write about anything that occurs during a day that “catches my attention”. No censorship. No “trying to make art”. Just make notes, doodles. Play. Note the fun stuff, the things I’m grateful for and things that make me laugh or feel curious.

B.  After several weeks or months of sketchbook work I look back through my book and notice any reoccurring themes and I list them.

C.  I select one of the themes and set a series of creative appointments with myself to do a “real drawing” of that theme using good art materials. The creative appointments are 10 to 20 minutes of work/play at a time. I purposefully keep these sessions short! Repeat the creative appointments (aka short bursts of creativity) until the drawing is finished.

Then I select that same theme – or a similar one from my sketchbook – and do another “real drawing” – trying to do an even better job of communicating my thought or feeling. Again, no censorship, no “trying to make great art” – just trying to draw as neatly as possible, to convey as clearly as possible what “caught my attention”.

I keep working in my sketchbook every day even when I have a creative appointment with myself. Both of these 10 minute activities go on behind the scenes of my very busy professional artist life – and this “short bursts” concept could work within anyone’s “too busy” life and add more ongoing creativity. (Also, this concept builds on my “designing habits” concept from an earlier blog post: https://sueclancy.com/2017/03/29/designing-habits-6-ways/ )

Here’s a visual-thinking-drawing I did that describes this in a different way:

ShortBurstsCreativeTime72

For me it has turned out that creativity is a lot like happiness – it follows me wherever I go.  Below is a cartoon I drew about happiness that explains this concept in yet another way – it’s from “Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit” https://store.bookbaby.com/book/dr-bobs-emotional-repair-program-first-aid-kit

AHappyTail72

page from “Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit” https://store.bookbaby.com/book/dr-bobs-emotional-repair-program-first-aid-kit

You can also see one of my published sketchbooks as an ebook here: https://store.bookbaby.com/book/coffee-table-book

what is art for and 3 ways to find out

A Creative Life, animals in art, artistic inspirations, mental health, Sustainable creativity

Professional artist’s ask themselves “what is art for?” and answer it for themselves because that helps us know why we’re doing what they are doing. And knowing this helps you keep on course.

Here’s a sketchbook page from a time when I was examining this question:

ArtGenresPurpose

For me “art is for” good mental health practice – and to provoke a smile, a chuckle.  To quote from my book Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit “When a negative thought enters your mind just say (inwardly) ‘STOP’. It’s your brain, your mind and you have every right to think the thoughts you want…. Don’t let a negative thought ever finish its sentence…. How many ‘STOP’s are enough? As many as it takes. It is also helpful to keep a list of positive things that you enjoy thinking about or doing, like books/reading, walking… going to art exhibits… playing tennis… and after inwardly saying ‘STOP’ switch your focus to something positive and enjoyable.” (https://store.bookbaby.com/book/dr-bobs-emotional-repair-program-first-aid-kit)

So my goal as a professional artist became to create fine art, books and other objects that are positive and enjoyable for other people to see – switch focus to – and that are also  positive and enjoyable for me to create.  I decided that the genres of “animal painting” and “genre painting” best fit this goal.  For short I call this goal to “feed the good wolf”.

To make sure you know what I mean by that here’s a cartoon excerpt from “Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit”

TwoWolves72

excerpt from Dr. Bob’s Emotional Repair Program First Aid Kit https://store.bookbaby.com/book/dr-bobs-emotional-repair-program-first-aid-kit

But how exactly did I get to a defined goal, a “purpose” for my art?

  1. I went to lots of art galleries and museums. I read a lot of books. I listened to other people talk about what they enjoyed. Anywhere and everywhere I went I made a quick note of what interested me or fed my “good wolf” in a book that I kept with me at all times.
  2. I looked for art supplies and other opportunities to “test the theory” of whether or not something really did feed my good wolf. For example at one time I thought creating sculpture would be “good wolf food” for me – but I discovered that it was too physically difficult and in the process of creating sculpture I ended up cursing a lot. So after some time spent trying metal sculpture I nixed that one from the “good wolf food” list.
  3. I played with the genres and arts categories while making a note of my responses emotionally, physically, mentally.  By “play” I mean I casually went to art exhibits,  looked at objects in a store or on-line that fit the genre/category, I tried the genres at home and all the while I noted my gut response – did it feed my ‘good wolf’? Did it make me smile and want to “share it” in some way with a person I love? What is it about that art/object that excites me? Then I list those qualities and pursue them in my own projects!  (As I mentioned above it turned out that the animals-in-art genre fit me well!)

Speaking of projects –  here’s a very new project for me that fits with my “feed good wolves” goal: I’ve begun designing for iPhone cases, Laptop skins, wall clocks, comforters and many other tech and household objects. (If you noticed that these items fit in the genres of  ‘animals in art”, ‘genre painting’ and ‘media arts’ you get a gold star sticker!)  The link to my newest project: https://society6.com/sueclancy – and here below are a few examples.

 

designed by sue clancy

A Creative Life, animals in art, Art Apparel, Art Licensing, fine art, published art

My first official “Signature Collection” of scarves, pocket squares and tops has just gone “live”: http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/sue-clancy  – and I’m excited! By allowing my artwork to be “licensed” you get fun stuff to wear and I get to play with pattern creation (the patterns I make on paper for use in my fine art, and my fine art itself) in yet another fun way; by designing apparel!

I’m collaborating with VIDA, http://shopvida.com/, a new kind of fashion ecommerce company that connects artists like me all over the world with producers to bring our artwork to life. For every product sold VIDA will provide the gift of literacy… you can see more about that on the website link above!

Here are some teaser pics of a couple of my designs – there are many more images of my new designs at http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/sue-clancy :

Pattern design by Sue Clancy for VIDA http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/sue-clancy

Pattern design by Sue Clancy for VIDA http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/sue-clancy

Pattern design using artwork by Sue Clancy for VIDA http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/sue-clancy

Pattern design using artwork by Sue Clancy for VIDA http://shopvida.com/collections/voices/sue-clancy