my creative life #17

by Jessica
by Jessica Andersdotter

Long time no see!

Okay, I was going to start this by saying it had been a while, thinking it was like six months or so since I wrote one of these posts. Well I just checked and last time I did this was in 2018. EXCUSE ME. What happened to time? Illness and misery, probably, but let’s not talk about that right now! I want to catch you up on what I’ve been making lately. And don’t worry, I’m not going to sum up over a year of creative work, I’m just going to start somewhere. That’s what you gotta do here in life, just start somewhere.

I think one of the reasons I didn’t do this in 2019 was that it was a year characterized by creative uncertainty for me. Somewhere along the line I grew tired of what I had been creating, and started craving change. The only thing was that I only knew I wanted to leave what I had been creating – I had no idea where I wanted to go.

Working toward a bigger goal

So 2019 was a lot of experimenting, and new stuff, and confusion, and anxiety, and honestly it doesn’t seem to be over yet. Which is frustrating, in a way, but I’m trying to focus on the possibilities in change, rather than the pain of it. I’ve also been thinking a lot about this tweet from Hank Green, and the idea that you aren’t just working on what you’re making right now, you’re working on everything you’ll ever make in the future. Which might seem like a daunting concept, but to me it takes a lot of pressure off. It means what you’re making right now doesn’t have to be great, it’s a part of a greater journey.

If it is great – amazing – but if it’s not then that doesn’t really matter. Maybe next thing will be great, or maybe you will make something you’re really proud of in ten years. It kind of put things into perspective for me, I’ve been looking at my art with nothing but the “now” in mind lately, doing anything I can to produce something great at this very moment, which basically has meant that I have kind of limited myself by not daring to do things I’m really bad at for the purpose of learning something for the future. Because that doesn’t yield instant results, which is something I’ve been obsessing with.

This also means that I’ve been focusing more on what I want to learn in the long run than making pieces that I like right now. Which is both frustrating and pretty great. It’s frustrating because some part of me still wants things to be good NOW. I get impatient when I spend a day practicing and have “nothing” to show for it. But it’s also pretty great, because – keeping in mind that I’m working towards what I might be making in ten years – the possibilities are so endless.

On with the post!

That’s enough rambling about stuff. I’m gonna show you a bit of my work now! I miiiight not show you much of my practice work – I kind of still want to keep that to myself in order to not start thinking of it in terms of making finished pieces to show to the world.

by Jessica Andersdotter

A new technique

One of the most exciting things that have happened to me creatively lately is discovering a new technique where I’m not “just” practicing, but also making finished pieces. I’ve been adding some of these into my creative routine in order to calm the thoughts of not being good at anything (practice is hard because nothing looks good) and satisfy my need to actually feel like I’ve made something. The picture above isn’t actually a finished piece, it’s just what I had when I realised I had found a new technique that I reeeeeeeeally liked.

I started experimenting with a grainy airbrush brush in Photoshop, and combined it with abstract shapes and grainy gradients. Grain, grain and more grain. What do we want? Grain! When do we want it? Grain!! <- my brain lately. Anyway, I sent the picture above over to some friends and was all excited. I don’t know if they really understood, because what’s pictured above doesn’t really look that amazing, but in that moment it was like I was seeing what was to come. Which was pretty cool. Anyway, I started to make more shapes, and combined that with some layering using different blending modes, and the following images came to life.

by Jessica Andersdotter
by Jessica Andersdotter
by Jessica Andersdotter

I’ve made quite a few more, most of which can be found on my Instagram. I’m really proud of these! They have given me an opportunity to experiment with colours in a new way, which has been real fun. I’ve had even more control than I’ve had previously, and the process has been very different from what I’ve made previously.

By Jessica Andersdotter
By Jessica Andersdotter

Finding old gems and re-editing them

Another thing I did just a few days ago, and something I’ve always found very inspiring and motivating, was going through a bunch of old photographs. I went back to 2008, which was right about the time I got my first DSLR, and found these photos of blue anemones (one of my favourite flowers! I love the time of year they arrive too! Ugh I’m so excited for spring) which I made pink and shifted the background into blue. I was just about to say “the colours are a bit different to my regular blue and pink” and only then realised that these were in fact ALSO blue and pink. BUT THEY’RE STILL DIFFERENT, OK?

Another thing that I found when going back to 2008 was pictures from one of my most intense experiences in nature ever, which was a cold day in March when a sudden snowstorm turned everything black and white. It was honestly amazing, and I still love these pictures to this day.

That’s about it for today! Hope you enjoyed this little recap of my creative life!

Other things

  • I’m very honoured to be featured in this post about art twitter on The Desk Magazine. The quote about my art, “the colors and amorphous, grainy shapes are like visual interpretations of dreams”, made me SO HAPPY.
  • I’m in LOVE with Hayley Williams new solo music. I’ve been listening to Simmer non-stop.
  • This piece of 3D-art by Stijn Orlans is AMAZING. I love the Norweigan boathouse look! And the water reflections are just beautiful.
  • The work of Pippa Dyrlaga has recently BLOWN MY MIND. I found it a few days ago and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it.
  • The same thing with Ziqian Liu’s work! It’s so beautiful and poetic, and just everything I want art and photography to be.
  • I’ve been loving seeing the Draw This In Your Style for Cheyenne Bartons illustration! They’re so cute!
  • I got a new PC right before Christmas, and I’ve been loving it so much!! My old laptop was not feeling great towards the end, and this new PC is A++++. Here’s a picture of my setup (I also got a new monitor!) + cat.

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Sian February 9, 2020 - 4:45 pm

I love this SO MUCH! I’ve told you before how much I love behind the scenes posts, but ones like this truly do make my heart sing. I’m all for those grainy creations too. The texture is so awesome, I bet they would look amazing hanging up on a wall as a canvas. Just stunning! I also really love that way of centring yourself on the now with your work, as it’s always working towards a more common goal – I’m going to keep that in mind too 🙂 (PS this post didn’t come up on Bloglovin for some reason, so I had to search it out!)

Jessica February 20, 2020 - 4:04 pm

Thank you so much Sian! 🙂 I’m so glad you like it!! And regarding Bloglovin it seems to have appeared now so I don’t know if it was a temporary issue or what it was?


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