Last edited by mjhinrichs; May 22nd, 2013 at 12:51 AM.
Hi there. Please don't erase your posts, it's rude and prevents potential answers from helping you and others. Stand behind what you say.
In answer to your invisible questions, here's how the creative process works:
- you take in ideas from the outside world
- you remix them in your head to generate new ideas
- you put them down on paper
This process takes skill and practice to improve. You may not be engaging with the world enough and not getting new ideas into your head. Creative artists are usually interested in everything, because anything might be raw material for a new idea. They look at everything with the thought "can I use this in a picture?". Beginners tend to ignore anything they can't find an immediate use for, so their inner library of ideas tends to be a bit bare.
Once the ideas are in your head, you may be having trouble combining them together, especially if you're looking for something brilliant right off the start. The fact is that the results of the mixing process are often crap. You have to generate an awful lot of terrible ideas to find the good ones. Beginners tend to find this worrying. Creative people just scribble down dumb stuff all the time. Start writing ideas down so you can recognize them when they show up. If you or a friend says "wouldn't it be cool if..." "you should draw..." "I wonder if..." that's usually an idea showing up. Write it down, even if it's stupid. If you show it that you like it, it might bring friends along next time.
Last of all, you have to get the ideas down on paper. Artists use a ton of reference. Visual facts about the world don't come from inside you, they come from the outside and have to be memorized. And your brain just doesn't go around memorizing stuff in case you might have to draw it someday. That would be like going to the library to memorize all the books about bats just in case someday you might have to write an article about bats. That would be a ton of work and the benefits of it would be pretty dubious. What if you spent all that time on bats and then you had to write an article about ducks? It makes a lot more sense to go to the library when you know what the article is going to be about and only memorize the facts that you are going to use over and over again. So with artists, we train our brains to memorize the basics like perspective and lighting, and then use reference for specific stuff.
Why can't you just think of an idea and then draw it? Because an idea is not a photograph. It's actually a fairly vague construct, involving feelings, memories, and shifting impressions. Unless you have a photographic memory and particularly strong visualization skills, thoughts are just a starting point for planning a picture, they aren't a solid object you can take out and examine.