A few years ago I proposed a Creative Practices course at Bethel University that dealt specifically with the idea of visual research and creative process for visual artists. The course had a focus on fostering the types of activities and research that would enhance the practices of younger artists.
As part of the research for the course I spent a good deal of time reading books and articles from a wide range of backgrounds that attempt to explain, support and inspire creative activity. In examining the broad range of information, particularly the information that dealt specifically with the visual arts, it became apparent that a good deal of the information is based on historical precedent, correlative assumptions, and anecdotal information about individual artists.
As a result, I began the project, interviewing fellow artists about activities that supported and expanded their own creative capabilities. Focusing on specific aspects of the creative process such as the structuring of time, support and research practices, non-objective studio work, the cognitive processes of the creative arc, and the role of negative experiences in the studio.
The project has a goal of publication, with web/book outcomes positioned towards artists who have developed their practices under the educational climate of the last 15 years. These artists face unique challenges that are not served by most other resources. It is my belief that the research will offer more reliable and comprehensive information for this group than research done with case study and anecdotal approaches. Diversity in media/approaches, geography, gender, age, and cultural backgrounds are important factors in the selection of artists for the research.
The artists participating in the research will be credited in the publication, and in any web based content associated with the project. Some of the artists who have participated are below.