My 9 Step Creative Process

"To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it" -Kurt Vonnequt 

Since, I was about seven years old, I've been drawing, and crafting to pass time and just explore. When I changed my major in college for the third time, I had realized that I should've just listen to myself, and IGNORED my family all together.

Yes, I understand, you live, you learn, and that's just part of the process of living.

Buuuuuuuut I seriously could have saved 30K by just taking classes that would help my IMPROVE my craft, not tear me away from it.

I went from, Elementary Education, Dental Hygiene, Business Management, Graphic Design, and I was completely displeased and frustrated with the throught of school.

The process of making art is the only thing that I've done in my life I could get frustrated with and still come back to with the eagerness of a 5 year old in a candy shop.

Creating art is one of those humps in the road that I never could easily explain to anyone in a couple of sentences, boom, bam, done, regaurdless of the many times I answered the notorious question, "how did you do that?".

Every. Damn. Time.

That question gets me.

I usually start off really good though surprisingly.

But when when I begin thinking about my descisions to choose the red instead of the blue because, XYZ and BLAH, Blah, blah, I spend entirely way too much time explaining unessessary details when I can just say everything, right here, right now, and send this post to anyone that asks me from here on out lol.

If you ever wondered how I got from point A to point B on any of the paintings you see of mine, here are my chaotic thoughts compiled into a 9 step organized manner, Enjoy!


My 9 Step Creative Process

One: GeT some Inspiration!

Easier said than done buddy, everything don't come down like a raindrop #realtalk. 

I can literally spend on a MINIMUM of 2 hours searching the internet for the perfect reference images to fit my concept, and even after all that time spent, I change my idea a million times in the process. 

Sometimes I would get a creative block, but the best way to combat that is to make collages.

Crafting a collage in my sketchbook of things that inspire me like women, patterns, ombres, etc. would get my creative juices flowing so I can move on...

While I'm crafting to clear my mind, I then precede with pulling out my pencil and draw some really rough sketches, page after page, until I get out of my block. (This would typically take a few hours of doing, and sometimes, although rare, just a few minutes).

Two: Choose a Medium

If you don't know what a medium is, a medium is just an art material you choose to create a picture, painting etc.

My typical mediums for painting are Watercolors, Oil, and Acrylics.

Now which one I typically select out of the three, solely depends on the surface, size and purpose.

hot pink acrylic paint

Three: Pick a Surface

Mixed media paper, scrap wood, or wrapped canvas? 

Mixed Media Paper:

  • Sizes: 5x7 - 11x14
  • Purpose: Watercolor studies

Scrap wood:

  • Size: depend on what I find of course
  • Purpose: just to explore and play with the oils to see what I come up with since they take a little while to dry. Depending on how thick I lay the paint on what ever surface I choose, the oil paint can take 24 hours to 6 months to dry completely.

Wrapped Canvas:

  • Sizes: 8x10 - 20x24
  • Purpose: finalized aka "ready" concepts to paint for sale!

I love to work with acrylics the most, simply because how quick they dry and how easy they are to cover mistakes and move on. I'm not a fan of painting on surfaces larger than a 20x24, but if the opportunity come to create a mural or something like that, I'll be hella excited! lol. 

Four: Thumbnails and Sketches

After I decided what I wanted to create, what surface and materials I'll be using, its time for me to create a mental road map that I can follow for the final piece!

By that I mean, to create thumbnails (miniature rough sketches) to get a feel of where to put marks on the paper.

And I go into some detail sketching to futher define where things go, what shade, what angle to draw the objects in, etc. etc. 

There's a lot to appreciate in this step because If I just dive in to a painting without taking a deeper look in what I want to create, my painting could look like complete shit and I will feel like I wasted my time lmao.

There's been a few times I went head first in a painting and everything was just fine, but if I'm painting is a commission, I would definitely go through this step and weave out my mistakes before I bring out the paint.

thumbnails and sketches

Five: Color Studies

Color studies are much like thumbnails and sketches, but only this time, I'm testing out the colors to see if they play out well, to my liking and if the fit the vibe of the painting.

No lie, I skip this step A LOT. Sometimes I regret it, sometimes I'm glad I did.

Reason being, is that, by the time I make it to this step, I already have in mind what colors I want to go where, and vibe is already in place.

Of course, it helps a lot to put the colors in place so I can early on see how the colors work together, but going with the flow usually works out for me :) 

Six: Dive In

I'm finally ready to bring out the paint.

Finally ready to sketch out the composition on the canvas.

And finally ready to put some colors down to see how this painting turns out.

Seven: Reflect & Self Critique

An hour or two may go by, I'm painting and I've got a million thoughts and decisions going and running through my mind, and I need a break.

I break for about an hour, or maybe a day, just so that I can take another look at what I have so far with some fresh eyes.

You might think that this step is completely pointless, but trust me, there's nothing worse than having to try and fix a mess. Sometimes the fixes are small, but sometimes, they're a shit show that you'd want to give up on. 

In this step I mainly analyze what I did right, and what I did wrong, and figure out how to fix it to make it look like what I had in mind.

Eight: Re-PLAY

This creative journey is almost ov-

YESS! LET'S GO! WHEW! LET'S GET DONE WITH THIS SHIT (Katt Williams Voice) Let me stop playing lol.

But yeah,lol.

Sometimes in this step I'd go back and repeat a few of my previous steps just to make sure I stay on the track of my plan, but if everything is looking good so far I just move on to the next step!

mother nature painting

Nine: Final Finishes

Painting any needed outlines, putting signature down, have a lil' photo shoot, and BAM! lol.

Not every art piece I create gets this detailed because I just dive in sometimes, but for those that have asked, "how did you do that" here's my long overdue, dragged out answer lol.

Started with an ugly ass thumbnail, to a piece that I can be proud of in the end :)

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13Love, Bee You, Bee Vibrant,

love, Amina