At Ideative Creative, we think about creativity a lot. We talk about it. We wonder where it comes from. We thank the gods that be when it shows up and on rare occasion, when we’re tapped out on some bleak, inspiration-less 2 a.m. morning and we’re on a deadline, we curse it. Creativity is tricky.
We decided that we wanted to start a conversation. And we wanted people we admire in the arts, people who create, people who listen to the muses, to weigh in with their thoughts. Each month, we hope to bring you some of their ideas on the creative process, how they work and what makes them tick.
Meet Joseph Banhart of JoB Artistic Designs.
Who I Am, What I Do: I paint, draw using several mediums, write, and do photography. I got started at an early age but left it behind until recently. With my renewed vigor for my craft, I took to the people I’m closest to and asked about that which they wanted to experience. I bring that to them and it always leaves them wanting to see more. It hasn’t been easy to find time to restart the fires of passion for art, but I saw enough hate and pain in my life and forgot my talent amongst others in the effort to remain afloat. Now my feet are back on dry land, and now I have work to do, and beauty to show the world.
1. What is creativity?
Creativity can be described as the driving force that pushed us towards the Renaissance. It can drive a person towards his greatest accomplishments, and allow the world another piece of beautiful art, or it can drive a people into breaking through barriers and finding cures for the sick. Whether through religion or science, creativity drives the people into wanting to make a difference as well as give them to tools to do so.
2. What and/or who inspires you, and why?
I’m inspired by the people around me, and their actions. Emotion plays a large part in any piece of art I do, as well as the fact that I’m so often doing something for someone particular. In that, I can use what I know about them to inspire me. My outside inspirations are, Bob Ross (for showing us that art need not be a slow process), Michelangelo (mainly his stone works and his ability to see a finished piece before the stone was cut), Rene Descartes (for showing us that an “old school or out dated” way of thinking can still be fruitful), and…my parents (because they were really mad when I showed them my first finished piece. “Why haven’t you been doing this before now?”… Now they’re my biggest fans, and my most faithful supporters.)
3. Name a favorite project. What did you love about it? What would you like people to feel when they experience it?
One night, while in a fury over a fight with my roommate, (don’t think poorly of him, he’s awesome) I “destroyed” a canvas I had been working on by hurling frustration at it. Paint was wasted, energy was consumed, and when I was done, the original piece was ruined. I walked away from the piece and lay on my bed. Within an hour, while remembering the end result of my fury, I saw the piece finished in my mind, and ran to my studio. I worked while giggling and saw a disaster turn into beauty, forged by pure rage. The end result was a majestic seascape port town….being destroyed by a volcano. It’s currently hanging in the library of one Mrs. Maude Wahlman, along with a few other pieces. The others are ok.
4. What is your creative process? What methods do you use to get into and stay in the zone?
As someone who has a full time job that, sadly, cannot be in the art field, it’s important to make time to be an artist. If I can’t find the time, or make time, then I find that my process is stunted and I can not move forward. After that, it’s often as simple as sitting down and putting on music or an audio book and losing yourself in the words, the sounds and the moment. I don’t always plan everything I’m going to try and create, sometimes you just have to shoot from the hip, but I try to have an idea of what I’m going to do before I sit down. Otherwise I find that I sit and doodle until the time has passed.
5. What was the biggest opposing force that you encountered on you creative journey? How did you move past it?
As I previously said, I was an artist from and early age, 3 years old or so, but I found that as I grew up other interests would grab my attention and I would lose focus on something I was working on. I don’t remember finishing anything that I would look at today and still agree with. As an adult, I still found that my mind would focus on other things, perhaps more important things and I would be off and doing something else before I could think. After all, bills need to paid, jobs need to be worked. Recently, I have found the balance I had forgotten to look for when trying at an early age. It was easy, once I realized that I found it more important than the other more obvious things.
6. Do the critiques of others affect your work? Do you ever critique you own work?
Oh, Absolutely. The way someone looks at what I’ve done, will almost always affect my method, whether strengthening it because I disagree with them, or changing it because they bring a point that wasn’t considered the first time. Opinions on any work I do, is welcome, as long as it’s productive.
7. If you had the chance to live during the height of any movement relevant to your field, which one would you choose and way?
I look at The Renaissance as being the moment in time in which the human brain became so much more capable of expressing itself through art. Dots were connected and lines were drawn that can never be diminished by time or space. We learned more about ourselves during that time than during any time since. And if I had to list a time other than this current one, it would be then. But today, during this age, we are capable of expressing ourselves in so many more ways than there was ever before. People use computers to bring images and words to live, and still… STILL…the old ways are still looked at with honor and dignity. The written word, sketching, and even painting are all still taught in at almost every level of education. It has not been deemed obsolete, and I doubt that could ever be possible.
8. What is the best advice you have ever been given? What would you tell someone else hoping to enter your field?
People always say not to give up and yadda yadda yadda; and I never want anyone to give up, really. When people ask for advice, they’re not looking for the old boring speeches that people always say. I wasn’t, I knew that already. I wanted new information relevant to the cause. So I have found what I tell people when they ask. It may not help, but it’s a real answer… “Experience everything. Whether it is good or bad, vicious or docile, cold…hot, new or old. Whether if the world is working with you, or against you, experience it. It will change the way you look at the world, and the people in it. It’ll change the reason you do what you do.”
9. If you could influence public policy on the arts, what would you change and why?
I don’t think I’ve ever really been against an obvious policy that the public has put in place. I’ve had friends complain about copyright policies, and although at the moment it seemed unfair to disagree with them, I’ve never had much trouble reconciling myself to the laws and policies set up to protect the artist. Perhaps I’ve missed the point of this question.
10. What kind of art are you consuming right now? What are you reading/eating/listening to/buying?
I tend to watch old television series on Netflix. I like good and often expensive food. I love reading the Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson, and investing in the next wave of both video games, RPG’s and art Techniques.
— Fin —
To email Joseph about his work, you can contact him at email@example.com!
If you would like to be featured in a “10 Questions With A Creative” post, feel free to shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear what stokes the fires of your particular genius!