Secret Weapons

The key to being exciting and unique with your creative ideas and the execution of them is to make them as uniquely ‘you’ as possible.  One technique to explore this (as it’s a nice pithy concept to say, but sometimes a more slippery beast to practice) is to explore your ‘secret weapons’.

Your secret weapons are combinations of your skills or talents.  Each talent you have is shared by a pot of people globally (yeah, sorry, you’re not the best drawer in the world).  When you combine talents you’re suddenly in a pot that’s much smaller.  For example, the ‘I draw quite well’ pot is pretty large.  The ‘I animate my own drawings’ pot is smaller, the ‘I make flick books of my animated drawings’ pot smaller still.

Here’s another example.  I like to paint.  When I started having children the time I had available to me was limited and I was a little worried that painting would go out of the window.  Pretty much as a result of this and urged on by some work we were doing at the time with a graffiti artist Sickboy I started stencilling, mostly because it was quick to impliment (the painting bit at least).

When I started I was trudging along a boring line of two colour faces of Bruce Lee etc.. the sort of cheesy ‘loft art’ IKEA crap of iconic people.  Then I got quite into landscapes, doing a big commission of the (not completely unrecognisable probably) Leeds skyline.  I had a friend at the time who gave me a beautiful etching she’d done of some feathers, so when I got home I started making feather stencils, then spray painting my hands, which produced more interesting results.

But I was after something that other people wouldn’t be stencilling, so I looked towards my other skills.  3D graphics seemed like an interesting way to generate stencils and I’d been doing a bunch of stuff with greebles at the time; an extruded greebled landscape in monochrome kind of looks a bit like a skyscraper stuffed urban landscape with buildings on buildings in a sort of Sin City style.

Greeble painting
Greeble painting

I’m not claiming the use of greebles to be totally unique in stencil art, but as a way of exploring a technique it’s a hell of a lot more interesting than Audrey Hepburn smoking a fag.


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