I've always considered myself an artist but never really got into painting until now. I've taken a few classes in painting and drawing at community colleges but never pursued it long-term. Painting pictures didn't merit any gainful skills to advance my income potential, so I migrated more to computer graphics because of work.
Now living in the Honolulu Arts District, I paint for pleasure. I can feel the synergy of painting from the community with all the murals throughout the neighborhood. Because of this, I felt compelled to paint and join the synergetic, spiritual energy of the Honolulu Arts District.
I have been an artist by heart and designer by trade. As an artist, I would attempt to create things that are aesthetically pleasing to look at, and as a working designer, I would make drawings that communicate whatever needs to be conveyed to the viewer. Art and working design are different. As an engineering CAD specialist, I was responsible for creating drawings as engineering documents. I learned the art of engineering design, and nothing was artistic. Art is personal expression. Engineering graphics is a science in graphics communications.
The lightbulb lit up when realizing that I could create art to communicate expressions of my thoughts. My mind started conjuring up ideas for painting themes, culture, and anything I could imagine to convey a statement. This took a foothold in my train of thought in my desire to be an artist. That way of thinking became fundamental to what kind of artist I wanted to be.
Why create boring pictures when you can simultaneously characterize your artistic expression and make an artistic statement? Seek originality free from outside influence, not to be a carbon copy of anyone else. Create art to capture the viewer’s imagination and decipher the art in their own way. Excite their critical thinking and entice their emotional behavior and make it fun. I'm not a fine artist, I'm a fun artist.
Identifying my style is difficult since it evolves with each painting. I recognize it as somewhat abstract subjective expressions. It's to be able to paint anything right out of your imagination and make up shit as I go along. It's somewhere between expressionism and pop art, a contemporary pop culture art. I believe abstract expressionism promotes creativity, imagination, and critical thought. Pop art is just having fun. That's the whole purpose of my efforts in painting, to enable these assets and culture the viewer and have fun with it. Always searching to capture something new, unique, and thought-provoking and share it with the world. When I arrive at whatever it turns out to be, it'll probably be altogether different from where I started in the first place.
The whole idea behind self-teaching is to develop a painting style unique to oneself without influence from outside sources. Painting to create your way of doing things.
When I first started painting, I looked at photos online and tried to paint them on canvas using acrylic paint. It was an excellent way to see my skill level with eye-to-hand-brush coordination. A bit frustrating at first, but once I got the hang of using the brush and experimenting with the proper water to paint the mixture, it became easier. It's all about using different paint brushes with the appropriate paint dilution. Now I have to figure out what kind of painter I'm going to be.
What's the best way to teach yourself to paint without formal training? To find your originality, I believe freestyling is the best way. Just do what feels right and discover your uniqueness.
In school, I was taught to be a critical thinker. Using this thought process, I imagine the painting before it's been painted. I was thinking about where I should start first and what colors to use. What kind of art do I want to create? What statement am I making with the picture? How will it resonate with the viewer? I look at this as 3rd eye painting; it helps me stay focused as I create each brush stroke.
I was mindful of the art as if documenting the style for future use. Each form of art created is a preliminary version in line with future revisions. I improve the technique with each revision by reflecting on what I did in the previous version. Revision documenting is a standard process I used at work in an R&D (Research & Development) engineering collaboration.
It'll be an exciting journey drawing upon what I have learned. My teacher is my life-long experience, and experience promotes mindfulness and 3rd-eye awareness.
What do I mean by this? Here’s an example, remember the Star Trek series on television back in the 60s? In the series, they used communicators to contact each other. It was a handheld device they flipped open to talking into. That example inspired young engineers to create the smartphone we use today. The writers back then had no idea what the future would look like. The writers are the creative artists, and the handheld communicator they conjured up is metaphorically the raw expression. That natural expression today is the smartphone.
I want to create art to inspire imagination. Like Albert Einstein once said, "Logic will take from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."
So how can you create art that inspires out-of-box thinking yet be your style? What kind of message do you want to project to the viewer? I think the answer is too abstract subjectivity in your art. It may sound oxymoronic, but I believe capturing your raw expression means conjuring up your subject matter in a metaphysical way. Transcend your creativity to another level and design what feels right in your heart. Create art that mirrors your personality of you as the artist. A plan that stimulates the imagination and promotes the critical thought process.
Raw expression, just like Star Trek, is to go where no one has gone before, hahaha. And have fun, of course, doing it.
I often talk about Raw Expression,- it is originality. Paint like no other paints. Style is personalized to the artist's way of doing things and the art you create is a direct result of your artistic uniqueness. To create style one must dig deep into oneself and figure out how the art will communicate your originality. This is where you reach beyond your boundaries to capture imagination and your raw expression.
I like to think of my style being spiritual to capture the essence of my inner-self. So I like to project a healthy style that generates creativity, imagination and critical thinking. Go beyond any style that already exists and share a new way of looking at things. Capture the imagination of the viewer by conjuring up an environment of your original creativity. Continue the process and never stop learning and be a consistent learner as you pass down what you have learned from painting to painting. This establishes your way of doing things. This is your style.
How many stories can you paint into a picture? What kind of story do you want to paint as an Art Communicator? Are you making a statement? Are you capturing a mythological tale? Are you documenting a historical event?
Fascinated with the Hawaiian culture and living on the Aina, I like to "talk story" about this lifestyle in my art. Living in this environment makes it easy to capture subject matter to paint about. Thinking about a story theme can make it easy to initiate a painting when you experience painter's block (taken after the phenomena of writer's block).
Tell a story with art and give the viewer an imaginary environment to explore.
I often say that there's nothing artistic about design. This comes from a guy who has worked as a techie for 40 years in Silicon Valley. Design is responsible for technique and style. Design is the tool that shapes an artist's uniqueness.
As a noun, Design is the process structure of creating Art.
As a verb, The thinking process of developing Art.
Design is the system of innovation that defines an artist.
The Design is the structure of the painting. For example, the design structure is blocks of images; that’s the design. From there, the process of shapes and colors are added, creating the art. Colors, shapes, and images can represent moods, emotions, and personality and create an environment for the viewer to enter and explore, a theme of sorts.
The most challenging stage of the design process is initiating the design to create Art.
The digital world is more forgiving than painting. In the digital way of doing things, you can easily undo and redo the design, while in the image, once you put the brush down, it's permanent.
In most digital graphics programs like Autocad and Adobe Illustrator, there is a feature called layers where you can put images on different layers that you can turn off and on as you please while working on the design. In painting, ideas must be thought out sequentially to work as layers.
So my technique consists of using layers in sequence; first, layer one is the background colors and taro plants, then layer two is the patterned designs of the leaves, then layer three is the treetops and blue horizon, then layer four is the lower background green bush silhouettes behind the giant taro plants.
Albert Einstein once said, "Imagination is intelligence having fun, "To add to that, I say, "Creativity is the ART of life.” In both cases, the spirit of innovative thinking is set in motion on the premise of discovering something new. So let the creative juices flow unrestricted. Just paint what feels right, like nobody is watching and could care less what people think. Just make shit up.
Imagination can manifest into limitless possibilities. So create something that makes the viewers use their critical imagination to decipher your art in their way.
To be continued...