A new color pattern, a CustoMiiR logo on the latest Camp Cup mockup 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 drawing. We set down recently to chat about his creative process and where he finds his inspiration.
Not everybody realizes it, but everyone can be incredibly imaginative and creative if they give themselves the chance to be. Through our interests and our biases 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 brains tend 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. So 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.
I know it 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."
Where will your creativity take you? Start here.