Creative Spark Challenge

chef.jpgStaying inspired is a problem for artists of every kind—be they pastel painters or poets. So, we’ve planned a regular addition to the magazine’s “Art Matters” column—an item we’re calling “Creative Spark.” In each issue, pastel artist Carole Katchen will introduce a
creativity-boosting idea along with a creative exercise to take
straight to your easel. In the first installment, in the new December issue, she addresses the problem of trying to stay excited about a subject that sells well, but with which you’ve lost some of the original enthusiasm—in her case, a series of chef paintings. To rekindle her inspiration, Katchen turned to design, showing in the example (at right), how she used the letter “C” shape to inspire a composition. In The Chef’s Secret Ingredient (26×18), you can see that the top of the shape begins at the upper right of the hat, and follows down through the face to the white shirt, then along the center of the line of the white jacket.

Trying something different is often a quick path to inspiration. So, with each “Creative Spark” installment, we’ll throw out a new creative challenge for you! For this first challenge, send us an example of a work in which you’ve used an alphabet-inspired composition. Email us a jpg-image (72-dpi and an image size of about 4×5) by November 30, 2007, and you’ll be eligible to win a 39-piece set of Great American pastels (winner chooses the set). My editorial team and I will select one winner, but runners-up may appear on our blog. E-mail your image (or images) to with “creative spark” as the subject line. Include your name, email address and mailing address in the message, along with a brief explanation of your design. (Unfortunately, you must be a U.S. resident to participate.)

Now, get out your pastels, sing the ABC song a few times, and have some fun!

You may also like these articles: