So, I met these ethereal, playful figures who dived and floated through sun-soaked clouds – I called them “air dancers”.
And there the little seed of an idea stayed, for quite some time. Which is fine. Some ideas need to germinate, ripen, and change. Like a fine wine, the more influences an idea has, the better its ageing potential. It might need colour, texture, mood, composition, pose, emotion, lighting… Anything that can be added to the mix and stirred in.
Where do I get the ideas for this ageing process? As Austin Kleon says, “the honest artist answers, ‘I steal them.’”
I collect all kinds of good, shiny ideas that speak to me.
I research old artists, new artists, and all different photography and painting techniques. I listen to podcasts by artists and authors. I watch dance movies with terrible plots but fantastic dancing. I read a plethora of books from space travel through the Glitter Band (Alastair Reynolds), to epic knights who wield Shardblades (Brandon Sanderson), to innocent but spunky heroines who “though one might stand on the brink of a deep chasm of disaster, one was still obliged to dress for dinner.” (Georgette Heyer). I experiment with different media at life drawing sessions. I take photos of clouds, sunsets, rocks, sand, trees, shadows, and light dancing on a wall.
I pick out bits and pieces to feed my idea – a dawn colour, an expression of hope, the word “rebirth”… It all gets transformed and remixed until one day, violà, that seed of an idea has grown into something that can start to come alive.