“Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.” Salvador Dali
As artists, we are conditioned to draw inspiration from a variety of sources – nature, books, personal experiences, and our community of artists. While we intuitively channel this inspiration into our everyday work, it is useful to push our creativity in more intentional ways. This intentional, or outside-the-box, kind of creativity is an important investment in our future work and always seems to pay artistic dividends.
A Design Challenge – The ‘Fifth Season’
In the studio we started calling intentional creativity ‘Fifth Season’ work, which represents design work that diverges from what we think of as standard or safe, and instead strives to be novel – if imperfect. The idea of the Fifth Season surfaced last January as the holiday season wound down. We completed design and production of our Winter Collection, the fourth seasonal collection of the year, and were in the midst of creative renewal as we reflected on our year of designs. Then, Jill presented a fun design challenge as an exercise to stretch our creativity. Each artist was tasked with designing a vase based on two random parameters drawn from a hat, historic style and motif. Artists drew the following:
Allison – A landscape in Newcomb College style
Becky – A symbolic motif in Amphora style
Ken – A flower in Nouveau style
Alek – A classic motif in Rookwood Pottery style
Leah – A steampunk motif in Saturday Evening Girl style
Kevin – A geometric motif in Teco style
Jill – A rebirth motif in Grueby Faience Pottery style
Laura – A whimsical motif in Prairie style
Jennifer – A bird in Marblehead Pottery style
Sharing Our Ideas
The End Results
While the end results are far from refined and finished, we found great value in pushing ourselves into new territory. Little bits of technique and whispers of inspiration from this exercise now emerge as successful elements in our new artwork.