A new color pattern, a CustoMiiR logo on the latest Camp Cup mock-up or a photo-realistic sketch of an octopus holding a shotgun. You can’t really predict what you may see on Jayson Blasko’s screen at any given part of the day.
At MiiR, Jayson is a graphic designer working on giving life to customer’s design requests. But above all else, Jayson is an artist. It is not often that you see him separated from a sketch book or working head-down, headphones-on on a new creative project. We sat down recently to chat about his experience as a creative professional, his creative process, and where he finds his inspiration.
Everyone Can Be Creative
Not everybody realizes it, but everyone can be incredibly imaginative and creative if they give themselves the chance to be. You don't have to consider yourself a creative person to come up with an innovative idea. Through our interests and biases in our everyday life, we establish a visual library in our minds of things we like, things we dislike, things that are impactful to us. And when we are given abstract concepts or shapes, our creative brain tends to see what we value the most.
For example, when two kids are hanging out on the grass, looking up at the sky they are quick to see all of their favorite animals and shapes in the clouds. They see the things that they value the most, that’s what they want to see. And I think that is a very fun way of solving the “blank canvas” problem that is one of the most intimidating problems for any artist.
“What do I draw?”
“What do I do?”
“I’m so not creative because I can’t just create something out of nothing.”
The truth is that most experienced artists can’t create something out of nothing. We’re all pulling from somewhere, we’re all pulling from that visual library and things that inspire us.
How Do I Find My Creative Process?
What I like to do is take any type of medium that is somewhat abstract. For example, I like to take grey ink and scribble a bunch of random lines and take a step back and look at it with a new eye and see what my mind sees. Find out what shapes I am pulling out of there.
Do I see a puppy, because I think it looks adorable?
Or do I see a spider a bunch of jagged lines?
Either way, I start to see those shapes and then I take a pen and start to really carve out those shapes and forms and let that evolve on paper. That’s probably the most fun process for me because it feels like it was something deep inside of me that I just shepherded out of the deepest recesses of my imagination.
Helpful Tips for Finding Your Creative Process
If you look online, you'll find plenty of references telling you about the five steps of the creative process. However, finding your creative process is as unique and individual as you. Building creative skills is the same as any other skill: it takes time and practice to bring your creative ideas to life.
Here are some helpful tips to help you find your inner creative genius.
1. Start with a Blank Slate
Starting with a blank slate doesn't mean that you're about to create something from nothing. It means removing distractions and letting your creative mind take over. Put your phone in another room, turn on some music, and let yourself out on paper whatever comes to mind.
I know my creative process can be hard for people to visualize, which is why I like to walk them through the process and go “hey, throw a bunch of lines down on the paper” or “spill your coffee on your journal and let it dry and look at all the different values and shapes that it creates and take a pen and draw over it and find out what it is. Is it an octopus? Is it a car? I don’t know."
Rather than creating something from nothing, you're starting from an abstract and finding the relationships between concepts.
2. Note Your Sources of Inspiration
You never know when you're going to find something that inspires your future projects or bursts of ideas stemming from all aspects of life. That's why it's important to have something with you at all times during your everyday life for when your creative juices start flowing at inconvenient times.
Consider keeping a notebook with you at all times or a file in your phone to note or photograph things that inspire you. These sources of inspiration could be a word you hear, a visual component that leads to your own original idea, or a shape in the clouds. These notes, sketches, photos, etc. will become your treasured bank of ideas.
3. Continue Learning
Dedicate yourself to continued education surrounding your craft. After all, you can't bring your brilliant ideas to life without building skills to make them a reality. Learn and keep learning to fuel the fire of your creative genius.
4. Find Your Flow
Starting with a blank slate and building a routine will help spark your creativity. Then, it's time to find your flow. A flow state is when the world fades away and you're so dedicated to your task that nothing else matters. When you find your flow, follow it, and if possible, don't interrupt.
5. Know When to Step Back
Every professional artist has experienced barriers to creativity. When you feel brain fog about your latest idea or get caught up in the execution, step away and move onto alternative ideas. When you're ready, the idea will come back to you and everything will be clear. It could take days or it could take years, but that's how the creative brain works.
See more creative designs here.