This summer, a friend asked me to create a drawing that would represent two lives coming together in holy matrimony. My friend shared a few stories about the bride and groom, and with confidence, gave me his blessing to unleash my creative skills, withholding his input until the final product. While I was flattered by his vote of confidence, I decided to routinely send him pictures as I progressed with the project, to ensure that what I envisioned accurately depicted the couple and his intent in memorializing their wedding. A few days later, after six hours of couch surfing with sharpie markers, pencils and a sketchpad I completed stage one, much to my friend’s content.
The second stage of my creative process centers on selecting the color palette. This is as intricate a process as stage one. Each color is meaningful and conveys a message. In my artwork, I weave intricate patterns that slightly obscure the main images. The colors I select for these patterns support and contrast these main images to create a type of “harmonious obscurity.” This obscurity is the balance between visibility and invisibility of the main images within the patterns. My hope is that the end result produces a work-of-art that is not just original and creative, but communicative and valuable to any observer.
In Model Heat, there is a lotus flower near the bottom center of the piece. I used this symbol of good fortune and faithfulness to represent the couple’s hearts being bound together. The primary colors surrounding the lotus are alternating shades of blue. These blue hues illustrate water, and water is universally considered a symbol of change and turning points. Water is also often referred to as the sustainer of life. The elephant, to the far left of the piece, is symbolic of the Hindu image Ganesha and serves as a marital blessing for removing all obstacles the couple may encounter together. The colors and decorative patterns used in the elephant are symbolic of how elephants are ornately adorned for festive occasions in India. These elements were all carefully selected to tell the couples story and invite any viewer to create their own interpretation of my work, revealing a story that comes alive for the viewer. Contemporary fine art is part of ministry to me; a ministry that involves using my creative abilities to draw images, weave patterns and use brilliant colors to invite people into thought, conversation, and action.
Whether consciously or subconsciously, artists and all people create. We create art, and many other things that give deeper meaning to life. What do you create? And what do your creations convey? I hope this sneak peek into my creative process inspires you to look for meaning in all art and in your own creations.