The Life Cycle of an Idea

If you have been following my blog, you may have noticed that I haven’t posted in a while.

This is because, recently, I have been struggling to develop my ideas properly and have been finding it hard to transform them from concepts into fully finished projects.

Unfortunately, at the moment the majority of my ideas currently seem to be going through the following life cycle:

BIRTH

The arrival of a new idea is always an exciting occasion. Although I’m not quite sure exactly what the idea is, I’m looking forward to exploring it further. The idea is full of untapped potential and I am completely and utterly convinced that it is unique and special.

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CHILDHOOD

As my idea begins to grow and develop, I tend to get extremely invested in it and become convinced that it will grow into something brilliant. At this point, the idea is still very much in the conceptual phase – the possibilities of what I can do with it are limitless and I tend to be completely blind to its flaws.

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ADOLESCENCE

After a while, I start to flesh out the practicalities of transforming the idea from a concept into a fully fledged creative project. However, at this point, the idea tends to rebel. It starts to take on a life of its own and I no longer feel as though I have any influence over where it is heading. The idea has officially entered its awkward teenager years – it’s no longer 100% sure what it wants to be and working on it starts to fill me with an overwhelming sense of angst.

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ADULTHOOD

Occasionally, I manage to wrestle my idea into something that vaguely resembles a finished project. However, my expectations of the idea were so high in its infancy that the work that I have produced in reality doesn’t usually match up with the glory of my original vision. Having invested so much into the idealised vision of what the idea would become, this stage tends to be slightly disappointing.

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MIDDLE AGE

At this point, I tend to hit crisis point. I’m not satisfied with the idea as it is and start to question if I’ve taken it in the wrong direction. That being said, I’m not quite ready to give up on it yet so I tend to make one drastic, last ditch attempt to change the idea in the hope that this will help it reach its potential.

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RETIREMENT

Eventually, the idea decides that it is  time to stop working all together. I might put the to one side with the intention of coming back to it later, but on the rare occasion that I actually do revisit it,  I often get confused as to why I even though it was a good idea in the first place. The idea has officially reached the end of it’s lifecycle.
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If you enjoyed this post, feel free to check out some of my other posts. For more blog posts and drawings, you can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

I Used a Colouring Book Once and Only Went Outside of the Lines Around Seventeen Times – That Makes Me an Artist Right?

As a child, I liked art.

I liked art so much.

I loved art.

I was art.

As a foetus in the womb, before I had even developed a functioning neurological system or any comprehension of my identity, there was a voice in the darkness and the voice was art.

For decades, intellectuals had been asking themselves the question, ‘What is art?’.

This was only because they hadn’t met me yet.

Upon meeting me, they would have only had to take one look at my face and the answer would have instantly become startlingly clear.

Here is a picture of one of my earliest works:

Dog FenceI entitled it Dog Jumping Over Fence.

I suspect that this was maybe because it is a picture of a dog jumping over a fence.

I think Dog Jumping Over Fence clearly demonstrates that, even at the tender age of seven, I had developed an uncanny ability to accurately capture the size of a dog in relation to that of a fence, a skill that many experienced artists spend years honing.

I was also extremely adept at representing the intricacies of the human form.

Soon after completing Dog Jumping Over Fence, I drew the following portrait of my mother:

MumHaving slaved away at the portrait for an entire six minutes, I proudly presented my mum with her likeness.

I was expecting her to put it up for auction, or at the very least frame it.

However, for some imperceptible reason, she did not seem too flattered.

She handed the drawing back to me and told me that it was ‘nice’.

Normally, when adults tell children that something is ‘nice’, it is code for ‘that is a complete pile of wank’.

However, in my innocence and naivety, I missed the latent subtlety of this insult and was therefore undeterred from continuing in my pursuit of artistic glory.

When I turned nine years old, I felt as if I wanted to take my art to the next level.

I decided to learn from the sacred book of art:

Weatherly

The Weatherly Guide to Drawing Animals presented the reader with a series of simple steps which they could follow in order to gradually build up images of various kinds of animals.

I opened the book and selected a rhino.

I was excited.

I was about to draw a rhino.

At the time, I felt that if I could just draw the rhino, then my life would be complete.

However, the process of drawing a rhino was more challenging than I ever could have expected.

It'll be easy

Nevertheless, I persevered and eventually emerged, exhausted and nervously twitching, with a drawing of a rhino.

good rhinio
The Weatherly Guide To Drawing Animals – p85

Except my rhino looked like this:

Bad rhino

My experience with the rhino greatly damaged my confidence.

What kind of artist was I if I couldn’t even draw an accurate representation of an herbivorous safari animal?

Soon afterwards, traumatised and dejected, I went through what I like to refer to as my minimalist phase.

I drew the following picture, which I christened Blank Page With Nothing On It.

Blank Page With Nothing On It is an artwork which I feel completely defies the expectations established by its title:

Blank

A few days later, I drew Blank Page With Nothing On It 2: Another Blank Page With Nothing On It.

This was then followed by Blank Page With Nothing On It: The Sequel to the Sequel, Blank Page With Nothing On It Reloaded and Blank Page With Nothing On It 5: The Pencil-Deprived Void.

I became slightly obsessed with the series, frantically creating new installments in the hope that each one would be blanker and contain more nothingness than that which had come before.

However, I gradually discovered that, no matter how hard I tried, each picture had similar concentrations of blackness and nothingness.

I had lost control of the series.

It was becoming a caricature of itself.

I stopped creating art all together.

the end

or so i thought

A few weeks ago, whilst tidying through my stuff, I came across a page of a comic book that I created back in my pre-rhino days.

comic

Whilst looking at my work, I was reminded of the fact that my complex and witty writing style could be combined with my sophisticated drawings in order to bring something truly special into existence.

I realised that depriving the world of my illustrations was a crime worse than not depriving the world of my illustrations.

Hence, I have been inspired to once again pick up a pencil and illustrate this blog.

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I don't actually.