October is filled with amazing art challenges including #Drawlloween, #MabsDrawlloweenClub, as well as one of the first #Inktober started by Jake Parker. During a podcast called 3 Point Perspective with Will Terry, Lee White and Jake Parker; Lee White made a comment about Inktober that he was going to start a month long art challenge called SlowVember. I heard this in late 2018 or early 2019 but it has stuck with me ever since.
The purpose of #SlowVember is to slow down and take the necessary time to create a work of art in a direct and diligent way. Too often we are rushed to create pieces that could have been better served with more time and attention. While being efficient is advantageous to production it can create deficits in the final product.
Don’t get me wrong. Procrastination is never the answer, but time and a fresh eye can provide valuable insight into our lives and art. Much like a farmer working with nature to produce the best possible product; I feel that deliberate and consistent amounts of daily work can produce a better harvest.
My primary goal for #SlowVember is to break the art creation process down into its 4 basic parts which will be again divided up into multiple steps to be completed daily. Each step will be completed and documented daily within a 60 minute time frame. I will set a timer!
So what are the 4 basic parts of art creation?
The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of the work is done in 20% of the time which means that 20% of the work is takes 80% of the time. I believe this is why the sketches and preliminary drawings have so much energy and emotion that is extremely hard to carry into the final piece. So we can either take this to mean that the we are killing our art with more work or we need more focus and determination to realize our end goal.
I prefer to focus on the latter. Posing a model and taking a great photo will take far less time than painting that image from the photo. Does this mean we should avoid painting and just take a photo? No. It simply means that the seeds are planted and it is time to water and pull weeds.
With this in mind I will be completing the first 3 basic parts of art creation in the first 2 weeks of the project and using the last 2 weeks for production.
Ideation – What am I going to create?
Ideation is the process of compiling and refining ideas and concepts. The purpose is for us to have a clear vision in our minds of what we would like to create. Will it be a portrait, landscape, etc.? Will it be abstract, realism, etc.? Will it have something to say or just convey a feeling?
Conceptualization – What will it look like?
This is where thumbnails and preliminary sketches are used to develop not only the concept but the composition as well as silhouettes and readability.
Experimentation – What medium(s) will I use and how could this look?
Experimentation in art is how we finalize all of the preproduction of the final product. This is where we do Value and Color studies as well as trying out different techniques and mediums. We are basically making various prototypes to help lock down how the final piece will come out. And most importantly it is where we write down all the steps and time frames required.
Production – Time to make the donuts.
The size, medium, and process are all decided on. Now it is time to sit down and achieve each of the daily goals developed by the first 3 parts of this process. After the first week you may likely have a finished piece. But now is not the time to say good enough. Now it the time to take a long hard look at what you have done and ask the 3 Questions you should be asking yourself everyday for every piece during every step.
1. What is working?
2. What is not working?
3. What if?
On December 1st you are now welcome to varnish, photograph, print and frame you final piece. (I recommend photographing physical pieces before and after varnish). You have made it to the end. What did you learn through this process? How does the final image compare to other pieces you have spent less time on? Try to be objective.
Please feel free to share your daily/weekly steps and/or final pieces using the hashtag #slowvember #slowvember2019