Every once and then, when I see that the group can take some deep talk I drop a couple of phrases of what I believe it’s maybe the most important part of making an illustration or digital collage.
Its a cold winter night in Buenos Aires, I am upstairs, the room that once belonged to my sister is now mine. In a corner between the screen and the keyboard a cup of tea.
I am making a collage, it just flows, the less thought I give to it, the better it happens. It simply happens. Breath is calm, I am not excited, not sad, not nostalgic, I am simply there. Making a collage.
The pen tool flows, I find it to be an almost meditative tool, it gives me the chance to focus in one thing. A concentration exercise but at the same time mind is not there. I remember this moment, it was in 2012 or even before. The collage “I” made that night, happened. How come I can remember this collage and not others? Describing it into words its not so accurate as the memory I have in my head and the feeling to which I can transport myself too while thinking of it. Maybe listening to Arcade Fire – Her Soundtrack helps to get into this mood. But I believe that something special happened that night.
I don’t think that it is a coincidence that the digital collage I made that night was one of the ones that had more compliments and one of the most viewed in my portfolio.
There is a sweet spot that shows up in my artistic process and I am sure that it happens in many other ways to every artist. Once you have developed a certain skill with the tools, you no longer suffer or get frustrated with them. I tend to say that we use scissors since we are kids, we have years and years of experience so dont worry if you cant get into “the creative flow” with digital tools yet. It takes time to be able to express yourself through them, but eventually comes.
To this technical knowledge you need to add the “connection” moment. Some people get this when they are relaxed in nature, maybe while listening to certain music, when making “yoga”, anyhow…
For me, making digital collage can bring me in that moment, making a big selection with the pen tool, playing around with brushes, adding details. Some tips that help me get into this moment, specially for making personal work because they are quite hard to control in the everyday work routine.
- No music with lyrics: Songs have the power to drag me to memories, so I prefer when it’s instrumental.
- No excitement: Balance is key, somehow If I get excited I start to “want”. I want to add this, change that, and I loose the creative flow. The choices seem to be direct and usually not mistaken. If I let the flow go its own way without thinking of the result, the result takes care of itself.
- No cellphone around.
- No-one around basically.
Save some time, to be you, to be with you. To be in silence, to be disconnected. To be present. Forget about the result, stop judging the result of what you do. If you enjoy the process, the moment becomes the piece of art. And 7 years later, you still remember it. As I remember the cold winter night with the tea in my old sister´s room. Where I made that collage.