The Creative Process by Osmosis

Generating Artistic Energy through Fun and Spectacle

Do you surround yourself with other artists? Granted, certain places make it easier than others. I live in a small town in southern Vermont simply bursting at the seams with circus artists, puppeteers, musicians, dancers, and painters. Our lives are punctuated by gallery walks, parades, performances, shows, and spectacles of all kinds. Now that summer is almost here, people are coming out of hibernation to soak up an explosion of offerings. One must frequently choose between simultaneous events taking place on any given afternoon or evening.

Because we’ve just endured an exceptionally long and dreadful winter, we are now taking to the outdoors with a freedom and abandon that is truly splendid to see. We know we have to get our fill of fresh air and vitamin D before colder breezes blow again—all too soon—in the fall. Neighborhoods are alive with families sitting on front porches, people cooking outside and socializing with one another, and kids riding bikes and scooters in the street. The Farmers’ Market is open for the season. It’s warm enough to go swimming in the river, or at the dozens of swimming holes concealed like mysterious jewels in the suddenly lush, green landscape. Outdoor celebrations are happening at the drop of a hat. Some of them, like the annual Strolling of the Heifers parade, glorify local culture while drawing thousands of people into a kaleidoscopic experience of revelry and fun.


Croquis Aquarellé: Lisbonne,Portugal by Guy Moll

For me, adventures of this kind tend to stack up spontaneously in the space of a day, leaving me tired, sunburned, and outrageously inspired. Ideas become more accessible, catapulting into my mind one after the other. I remember to value (and record) my own original concepts instead of merely brushing them aside or sacrificing them to the busyness of an average day. The colours, shapes, and forms of movement I’ve witnessed engrave themselves upon my consciousness and become landmarks in my own creative process.

Croquis: Colmar,France - Grand-rue by Guy Moll

In what ways do you best internalize information as a spectator, viewer, or witness? How do you transmute experience into fresh, original ideas for your own work? Are you social in your process, or solitary? Do you seek out unusual environments in which to immerse yourself and draw, or do you store experiences for later, letting your ideas gather steam before unleashing them into creation? Is conversation important, or an obstacle? What about fun? As an artist, what’s your favorite way to spend an idyllic summer day?

Please let us know in the comments!

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