This post will offer some guidance to help you respond to the following Spellbinder Instagram prompt, and will be especially useful for artists.
Draw or paint a creature which is a mix of unrelated things. Here are some examples: sand + frog, plant + octopus, fluff + dinosaur, peach + llama. Have fun and come up with a funky but cute creature of your own!
Suggestions for Artists
Merging unrelated things is a great way to become innovative and original. People are trying this in many fields from the science of pharmaceuticals to that of cooking. When you apply this practice to art, you often get a collage effect, regardless of whether your mediums are mixed or not. This can be a really fun exercise, so make the most of this opportunity to draw and paint without boundaries.
Begin by asking yourself some questions relating to audience, form and genre:
AUDIENCE: Often this sort of art can have a comedic effect. Ask yourself, who is the target audience of my work? Would this be suitable as an illustration for a children’s book or is there something more mature going on?
FORM: This sort of practice is also well-suited to the creation of cartoons. Ask yourself, would you like to create a work of this nature, or do you want to combine this with other art techniques to create something more serious?
GENRE: Finally, this mixing of different things lends itself to the genre of fantasy. What are your favourite hybrid creatures from the myths and legends of your childhood? What sort of character do you want to create which is entirely new?
After this, you might want to fuel your imagination by picking one thing from each of the columns in the table below, and seeing how you might combine this animal, plant, material and object into a singular entity.
|snow leopard||tulip||feathers||bed sheet|
|puffin||topiary bush||cotton||Monopoly board|
Finally, you’ll need to look at the art of others to help you with your technique and inspire you further.
- It might be useful for you to study the work of Pablo Picasso who was a famous Cubist and collagist. His work on the distortion of the human body through certain shapes is incredible to view. Works such as ‘Weeping Woman’ will give you a good idea about how facial features can be rearranged slightly and compressed into certain shape fragments to create a truly unique effect. Although this is different to combining animals and objects to create new creatures, it relies on the same principle of collage and should therefore be useful for you in your artistic journey.
- Also check out Liam-Gerrard, a New Zealand based artist, at this link, who is doing some really interesting things with hybridity.
- Gustave Moreau, the French Symbolist, may also be able to provide you with a useful for basis for understanding how to paint fantasy and mythical creatures. In particular, I recommend looking at his work on unicorns.
We would love to hear about your crazy creations. Comment below!
Amber Kennedy, Editor-in-chief