Exploring is the process of learning, brainstorming and experimenting with your materials in order to develop a rich vision around your raw concept.
Before you start working, some key question to ask yourself are:
- Do I feel confident about these materials?
- Have I done a lot of similar work before?
- Do I know enough about the issues, the medium, the genre?
- The vision test: can I imagine the finished piece, and the way to achieve it, in a satisfying level of detail?
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘No’, then it’s probably a good idea to invest some time in playing around with your materials. This is not just a crucial part of the process, it’s also fun! Get excited about exploring your materials, because this is the one practice that’s most likely to put you ahead of the pack.
Many artists tend to neglect this part of the creative process – especially when stressed for time. This is a poor choice, because exploring actually saves time. A better understanding of your creative turf has a huge impact on the fluidly of your work, your ability to improvise, and your ability to stir clear of hidden snags.