Tools of the trade

Jared Mirabile2 Comments
Tool-sweyda-brush pen-pencil

Tools are an essential part of the creative process, this much is obvious. What type of tools you use to get the right results is a different subject. A HUGE misconception is that in order to get the best results you need to use the best tools! I COMPLETELY disagree!

The most important tools to utilize in the creative process can't be purchased off some shelf. Most aspiring artists / designers look out at the landscape of other creatives and think "I need to know what tool he / she is using to get that effect, if I figure that out I'll be set" This is a mistake! What most fail to see is not that the artist found a magical tool but that they have developed three crucial aspects to the creative process. These are:

1. HOW they think | The development / training of their mind

2. How they see | the development / training of actually seeing objects

3. How they create | The development / training of their hand

1. Your MIND

Your MIND is the strongest tool in the creative process. When properly fed, properly disciplined and properly exercised you will see the fruit of your labor. This varies for most artists (how they develop their minds) but for me it's a steady diet of just a few specific but crucial pieces.

A. I ensure a healthy balance! Art is just one aspect of my life. I take breaks, have other interests, rest and spend time AWAY from art. This allows my mind to free itself of creative blocks and re approach my passion with a fresh perspective.

B. I read! I allow my mind to be absorbed in other topics, ideas and perspectives. This challenges my thinking and gives me new ideas!

C. I study Masters of specific crafts. My list of artists who inspire me is far too long to list but they are diverse in their area of expertise. They range from Master Penman's to Graffiti artists, from painters to fine artists. I study their technique, their approach, their interests all in an effort to broaden who I am and push what I am capable of.

2. The Art of seeing

To look on an object is one thing but to see... to see is EVERYTHING! I SEE objects, art, people, nature. I see HOW it's made, the lines, the composition and specific forms. Developing how you see things allows you to KNOW them. Knowing them gives you the ability to understand HOW they are formed and that gives you the ability to re create them, re imagine them. Developing how you SEE helps you refine your craft. It allows you to see your weak points and gives you solutions!

3. The HAND

Artists like myself spend thousands of hours refining their technique. They condition their hand's, their arms and at times the entire body to move in specific ways to get specific results. How I draw with a pencil is vastly different from how I ink, how I write calligraphy and how i use the mouse. These techniques can't be summarized in an easy "HOW TO" seminar but only uncovered when you invest time. It's in this commitment you slowly uncover the secret. The secret is training, discipline and mastery over your body.

My challenge is that as a creative you should seek to develop the most important tools EVERYONE has first. Once you accomplish this you will understand that the actual tools you purchase play a small part.

Current tools shown above:

Mouse (no brushes just the mouse and pen tool in Illustrator)

Technical pencil (Cheap Walmart purchase. Whatever feels good in my hand. .05 lead)

Pilot Precise (use for inking detailed work)

Brush Pen (Faber Castell brush pen for lettering)

Brush Pen (Faber Castell "Big Brush" for lettering)

Sharpie Chisel tip (My "go to" tool, it can be used in so many ways)

Pilot Parallel Pen (For calligraphy. 6.0 mm and 3.8mm)