Paul Gauguin once said, ‘Shut your eyes in order to see.’

Forays into our artwork often require a shutdown at some point.

Turn off the computer screens, close those reference books and sketchbooks – it’s time for some old-fashioned self-reliance.

Research can take you only so far – start to create from your imagination and memory.

You’ve done the hard yards, now it’s time to put into play your creativity and experience as a visual reference point.

It’s time to start designing.

I often reach this point in my design journey where I’m completely bamboozled by the sheer quantity of reference information I’ve gathered, so I shut down and put pencil to paper.

And sometimes it’s this one step, forcing me to work from memory and imagination that can take me to some pretty interesting places.

Process is never easy, but if there’s one tiny part that should never be forgotten, it’s this one – Paul Gauguin knew what he was talking about.

Allow the real you to show through, by using marks and lines that resonate with you.

Build on those marks and lines to create shapes, then finesse and refine them.

Add colour and pattern, showcasing the true artist behind the work.

Draw upon your research, but change it to make it yours.

Simply by shutting down, so we can truly see.

How utterly fascinating when you think about it.


All views and opinions expressed are my own, except where acknowledged information is included from other sources.