Tag Archives: art inspiration

What we can learn from Chupa Chups

Bizarre title, right?

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I’m halfway through reading a book called The Art Of Creative Thinking by Rod Judkins. (St. Martins College of Art) Judkins hasn’t so much taught me anything through his clarity of thoughts, but instead has made me realise my make-up if you will.  Creativity isn’t a switch that can be flicked on when you arrive into the studio or grab a pen to write, just in the same way it can be turned off when relaxing in the bath or climbing into bed.  The very crux of creativity is a way of seeing, engaging with and responding to the world around you.  Judkins suggests that creatives are creative when ‘filing documents, cooking, arranging timetables or doing housework.’

We are all guilty of compartmentalising Creativity for as and when it is needed in our daily lives.  It’s exhausting to be alert and responsive all of the time.  I dedicate set time to be creative amidst applying for jobs and working, a routine that’s an unhealthy one. Why? Because I feel most alive when I’m doing something I feel that is worthwhile… and that’s usually creating something.

You may ask, what does Chupa Chups have to do with all this?

This is where Salvador Dali comes in.  Judkins uses him as a perfect example of a ‘switched-on’ creative.  Dali too felt alive with things that he felt were important – devoting his time and energy to a range of projects.

On January 20, 1952, Salvador Dali appeared on American Game Show Whats’ My Line? , in which a panel of four blindfolded celebrity panellists guess the identity of a mystery guest by asking questions that have a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.  Taking almost nine minutes to reveal his identity, the guests become more and more exasperated as Dali answers yes when asked if he was a writer, a leading man, a performer, a sportsman etc. One of the ladies laughs and exclaims ‘There’s nothing this man doesn’t do!’

And that’s exactly the lesson that should be learned here. Throughout his life Dali was a film-maker, a jewellery maker, an architect, a designer, a writer as well as a painter. He needed a house, so he made one – who knows your taste better than yourself?  He created a person – Dali’s Frankenstein – Amanda Lear.  Dali renamed her, made her over and constructed stories about her. His creativity wasn’t under a time constraint, it ran through him.  Dali designed the logo for the Chupa Chups lollipop.  Already having a name for himself as a famous surrealist artist and a place amongst treasured Artists in the Canon of Art History, it wasn’t necessary for him to design for confectionery.  He was open-minded and it to him it mattered, so he did it.  Not everything he turned his hand to was successful, and some endeavours are more celebrated than others, but what matters is the willingness to try.  Dali didn’t attempt to turn the creative ‘switch’ on and off.  Instead, he embraced it and is Internationally respected as a result.  His creativity went far beyond his surrealist Paintings that he is most renowned for, and when you delve a little deeper you can discover a man that breathed creativity, not confined it.

His attitude is something we can all learn a little from.

Judkins, Rod, The Art of Creative Thinking, Sceptre Books, 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXT2E9Ccc8A – Salvador Dali appearing on ‘Whats My Line’

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Preparing for Exhibition, April ’14

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When Painting doesn’t come so easily, and you feel that you’ve really hit a block with it, something that always frees me up again is changing my colour palette.  With  less than a month  to my first Postgraduate Exhibition at Aberystwyth School of Art, this is exactly what I had to do.  I introduced a darker colour palette, and eliminated most blues, purples and greens that I usually rely heavily on.

This is my take on some snowy hills that I have witnessed while travelling in a bus from Wales.  They fly by in a short, transient moment and appear insignificant.  Truth is, it’s these small moments that have a way of unravelling from my sub-conscious and find themselves compositions or themes of my paintings.  It’s not until I’ve almost finished works, or see a photograph, or have a distinct memory that I recall where I’ve seen it.  To me, that’s amazing.  One small snapshot you took with your eyes, reveals itself in such a powerful way years later.

The power of observation has never been so tangible.

 

I feel so blessed that us artists can work in this way, it’s a great and underestimated gift.

 

Rachel

Silent Valley, Newcastle, Ireland.

Silent Valley, Newcastle, Ireland.

Transient, fleeting moments of the landscape is what I try to capture in my painting practice. I try to capture the ‘essence’ of the landscape, even though when I paint it may not appear completely figurative.

A trip to this Reservoir In Ireland at the Start of October, left me inspired. Stillness, colours, sense of depth, composition were all things that stayed with me.

Landscape is All-powerful, uncontainable, untameable.