Intuitive Creating

March 14th, 2008

Inspire Me Thursday has a super cool challenge this week that involves using inkblots in your art. At first read I wasn't extremely inspired by it, but then I saw where the inspiration came from, the moleskine inkblot pieces you can see here, and I was so wowed that I had to try one straight away. I love the before and after shots and the question, "what do you see?"

I used my moleskine type mini journal (I finished my first moleskine and replaced it with a moleskine look-a-like by hand book which is just as lovely) with some paint squished between the pages, I looked at it to see what the blots suggested to me, and then went into it with pen and colored pencils. In this one I saw mermaids. I didn't do a before shot because my camera isn't communicating with my older computer for some odd reason, but I think you can see where the ink blots are. I'm sure I'll be doing more of these as they're so much fun!

I think I particularly love this idea because it is how I do much of my artwork. I'll often start a collage with no idea where it's going and then I'll step back and see if there's a suggestion of a form in there. Sometimes I see a figure, sometimes a tree, and so on. It's a wonderful and intuitive way to create.

When I was around 10, I took a cartooning class and one of my favorite parts of it was when the teacher would play this scribble game. He would whip out crazy scribble after crazy scribble on sheets of paper and pass them quickly to the students. We'd all look at the scribble we got and make something from it, a scene or a character or whatever. The teacher would judge each round and proclaim a winner and then he'd create a new offering of scribbles for each of us and this would go on for most of the class. I loved it.

All of these techniques are ways of getting you to let the art guide you instead of you guiding the art. When you let go, where does your art take you?

In other news, my friend, Sarah has started a new business, S. Joy Studios. Go Sarah! She offers lots of great services for all you creative types including great web design work. Sarah has also started a new blog to go along with the business and she has started a great series of articles on the "7 deadly sins that creative  professionals make." The first in the series can be found here.

I'll be away this weekend, there's a big birthday party for the hubster's dad's 65th. So, it may take a few days to get back to you if you email. I'll be bringing my sketchbook along for the trip, so I can continue being creative. I hope your weekend is a wonderfully creative one!

27 Responses

That looks like a fun exercise! And fun outcome too.

Leah, I love what you’ve created with your inkblots! And I am so glad that you followed the link to see the moleskine/inkblot art, I was so inspired and I was hoping others would be, too.

I had an art teacher that would do those scribbles, too! I absolutely loved it. In fact, my 8-year-old daughter and I do this all the time, taking turns who makes the scribble and who draws something from it. Great fun!

i’m very in love with mermaids these days…these sketches are fantastic – love the orange and purple together, my two favorite colors.

have a great weekend!

This is awesome!!!! Wow! I do the same way art as you do. Just start from somewhere and let my art lead my mind….so much fun and really recharching my batteries for me. Thanks for sharing this great inspiration! Smiles. Anke ;)

I love the mermaids and the fish…so visual…great insight! Great inspiration!

I love your mermaids! Mermaids are a big thing here in the Norfolk/Va Beach area.

And thanks so much for the mention! I’ve been getting a lot of great feedback so far. You are awesome, Leah. :)

Nicely done!!

What fun! This turned out great.

Absolutely amazing! I think I will take a second look at the ink blobs. What a wonderful way to use your imagination!

Thanks for sharing

Absolutely amazing! I think I will take a second look at the ink blobs. What a wonderful way to use your imagination!

Thanks for sharing

Beautiful! I love mermaids.

What a cool exercise and a cool rendering too! They look a bit like kois to me. So beautiful… LOVE the colors!!!

I love how your ink spots developed. I too like to spill, or dabble random swatches of color with watercolors on my papers before I put down any images even when the images are preplanned. I also like to paint on a very large paper with a mix of acrylic paint and paste. I use various colors and then scrape the paper with different interments and let it create texture, patterns, and whatever else comes up. Images and themes usually surface and I can make several painting form the large paper. I love to work intuitively. I find that even when I have an image that I want to put down on paper, intuition and creativity will always have their way with the piece before it is finished.

Leah, I just LOVE this piece of yours. I haven’t the concentration to read at this very moment, but I’ll come back again sometime soon.’s such a sweet and natural thing, yet really inspired! Bravo!
Love ya, Amy

What fun – I remember once turning a soy sauce splash in my journal (don’t ask, lol) into a gnome, but I think I might like doing it on purpose and seeing what happens. I love scribbling and doodling on my own, but it would be fun to try turning someone else’s scribble into something too.
Happy Birthday to your FIL – have a good weekend!

Have a great and safe trip. I love the blot “fish” and the drawn mermaids…it almost makes “hidden” pictures. Very fun! And very intuitive, which, as you note, is always the best. Am thinking about getting some gesso and playing. Anything but get in the studio and finish my plaques so I can fire a kiln load. I’ll be soooo happy when this mood passes!

I love the spontaneity of this piece. And your story about the teacher and the scribbling reminds me of when I would sit in class with my friend Julie from college. One of us would do a scribble, pass it to the other and start drawing a picture and then pass it back to add on and so on until we would almost burst out laughing in the middle of a lecture about some boring science topic of which I have no recollection b/c I was too busy drawing. Oh, good times!

i love the fact that you made this “portable” by creating it in your “moleskin” what a lovely reminder to have in your handbag!!!!

Leah, I love to work intuitively. And I was fascinated to learn about ink blots – check out my entry because there is this really cool childrens book written back in the 1800s using ink blot creatures – you have to see it. Thank you for the idea of moleskin books or hand journals – I’ve been struggling to find the right paper.

This is so very creative and really artistic ! fantastic !

I love what you’ve done here! Of course I’m very biased because I love mermaids too!

Oh, I really like how your Mermaids and fish came about from your ink blots! What fun your art teacher was. I had done this on my own through a letter and had a friend send it back to me.

I posted three photos of things I had done for creative everyday. A head/heart ink drawing, paint on canvas and free bouguet. Have a Blessed Year!!!

Really fun idea. I like how what you did.
Another fun idea is to make thumb prints and build a doodle on the print.
One New Year’s Eve, my sis & I used a wine cork to print on paper which we embellished.
(This was our side entertainment while playing some game.) It was lots of fun.

You got a hand book! Yay! Do you love it? Your inkblot scene really has your vibe – lyrical and mythical, and it is so, so pretty! I agree that it’s fun to start with something indistinct and see what emerges. It’s such a fun creative exercise. Your results are lovely.

What a beautiful spread Leah, love the mermaids. I think that they are transforming into octopuses!? ;-)

I love your work. The mermaids are gorgeous. The idea of ink blots is brilliant. Just gorgeous :)

I love your mermaids. And your blog is very inspiring.

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