Sketches From Years Past
One of my all time favorite hobbies as always been sitting in museums on an early weekend morning and doing a bit of sketching, especially of sculpture. While I never had the strong sense of contour line that I've long admired in other artists and classmates (if only I could channel more Egon Schiele into my art) I've always tried to make up for it with my use of shadow, value, color, and composition. That's why I like drawing sculptures: you can kinda pick you're own unique angle.
I've been trying to draw more lately now that I've recently been gifted with a wonderful set of Prismacolor markers. I admit it isn't always easy to find time for the more self indulgent and ultimately, more relaxing work of hand lettering and drawing from art or from life, but I'd like to think its good practice for my day job as well.
I think in visuals. When I'm working through a system, concept or UI, I nearly always start with pen on paper, even if its just words, scribbles, and rectangles. Thinking visually is something most people stop doing as soon as art class isn't a requirement, for many this is in grade school, which is a travesty. Learning to visualize our ideas is an important skill in all kinds of fields, not just design.
I ultimately believe that anyone can be creative if they have the will, an open mind, and the training. I can't tell you how many people I've met in my life that say 'oh I'm not creative, I could never do that." That's crap! The idea that we separate artists and designers as the only ones who could ever create is a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to be human. To be human is to be born with a creative spark and gift for producing novel ideas, this gift just has to be cultivated. Some are inherently better at this than others, some we call 'genius', but its often because these people have simply put their 10,000 into perfecting their craft.
I get that there are artists and designers that we truly revere, whom we call 'genius' because we almost can't comprehend how they produced such work, because it is that freaking good. Now I'm no genius, but until then, I'm going to keep perfecting my craft.