I think ideas are in the ether. It takes the person, pencil and paper to realise them as something tangible.
This diagram illustrates the connective tissue inside my head which form my frames of reference. Thoughts, fragmented memories, half baked bits of useful and useless knowledge, imagery, stories, songs, paranoia and envy. It’s like mining a skip.
I rarely take notes, don't keep a diary and rarely take photographs for reference. I figure that what I need to remember will stick. The rest will either disappear completely or, given time, retreat, reconfigure and reappear as something new.
Drawing is central. My search is for a good shape and composition. “What constitutes a good shape? What else can that shape become?" At the outset I have no desire for accuracy, beauty, quality of line or interesting texture - they come later.
Constraint is a vital ingredient. External constraints provide focus (size restrictions, clients expectations, the (often minuscule) time in which to deliver). Internal constraints provide freedom ("this horse has got to touch each edge of the page", “I’ve got to make this completely out of circles”).
A printmaker at heart, I use the computer as I would if printing the outcome personally - “What’s the least number of colours I can get away with?” - and I work without contrived computer textures or effects.
I always try to place something for myself in the images which the client will not notice or even care about. This keeps the work 'mine’, and enables me to reassemble some of my commercial work further down the line.
And I know that what I produce is often tomorrow’s fish and chip paper. I’m ok with that.