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The Creative Process (Part 1)

Updated: Dec 21, 2020

An Internal Game • Article by Brian Batista

Everybody’s creative process is unique to them. Just getting started can be difficult. Facing a blank white sheet of paper or a freshly prepared canvas can be intimidating. Finishing can be just as bad. Then there are all the ups and downs in between. Sometimes creativity is a battle other times it’s a playful game. When we create, we face ourselves. There are many challenges. Creativity means navigating ebbs and flow along the meandering path that is the “artistic method”.

There is something within that drives our need to create. Throughout we navigate personal challenges. Technique is only the outer practice. It can be learned. When we can’t quite get it how we want we build our skills and thus our craft. We take classes, get constructive criticism from peers and learn to see what others are seeing then modify in order to get our vision out. All the while forging a path towards some goal that we have in mind. All the while, and often overlooked is the fact that we constantly come face to face with something else all together.

Creating is a very personal and subjective experience. It can be emotional, bringing us to the deep recesses in our minds. The ups and downs can feel like the stock market. Yet at other times, we are in the zone and our thoughts are serene and crystal clear. Artists tend to be overly self-critical. When personal blocks arise, an inner voice takes centre stage judging every mark with impunity. Feeling suddenly like the triumphant master of your domain and at other times everything just plain sucks. The highs and lows ebb and flow. From monarch to slave in one stroke.

As a teacher, I am acutely aware when my students struggle often bringing them to this point. They want to quit, they sigh and make grimacing faces. Some need to step away, others are brought to tears and all over art. I see and feel the ups and downs. I understand the personal challenges and how monumental they are in that moment. It is partly my job to help nudge them enough to help breakthrough this veil. If this is happening to you, know that you are not alone.

We all go through this. You can’t hold onto any one moment, master or slave. Best artist in the world or worst. The only constant in our practice is change because of this we are always growing. Growing in our art skills and within. I’ve learned the most important thing is to show up, stick with and you will push through. Trust the “artistic method” and trust yourself. You can do it.

With thanks and gratitude, Brian Batista


A student shared this with me the other day and I want to pass it onto you:

  1. This is awesome

  2. This is tricky

  3. This is sh*t

  4. I am sh*t

  5. This might be OK

  6. This is awesome


Welcome to the Swinton’s team, our newest instructor, Brian Batista. He has been with us doing the Sampler Workshops and will now teach a class on Thursday afternoons.

If you are looking for a fresh new approach or a different take on your work he may be just the guy for you. Brian’s creative experience is extensive and his enthusiasm is contagious. He is high energy and animated making for a very fun and entertaining studio environment…

Brian believes that there is an efficient and effective way to successfully tackle creating an artwork. Knowing these steps and being systematic in how you set up your practice can make all the difference. Art creation need not be boring or formulaic, there is still plenty of room for creative exploration etc. but great innovation comes from limitation and knowing to get to where you want to go.

NOTE: Want to know more?

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