A Bouquet of Grey Flowers: Happy Accidents During the Artistic Process

If you’re an artist, maybe you’ll agree with me: sometimes the artistic process itself is just as interesting, if not more so, than the end product. I often find artists’ sketches possess greater beauty than their finished work, and many times the “making of” documentaries on DVDs far surpass the films themselves. Something similar happened when I made this illustration of a flower bouquet, and the interesting part is, it happened largely by chance.

I was staying at my grandparents’ house when I made this. I drew it in pencil then traced over it in ink.
The next step was to scan it. If I were at home, this would be a simple process; I would scan it in black and white then start filling in all the gaps with color. However, my grandparents’ scanner didn’t have a black and white option, so instead I had to scan it in color, and was left with a bouquet of grey flowers (carbon copy appears light grey when scanned). After that, I had the menial task of filling in all the gray parts white. I sighed, and started clicking absent-mindedly, when about halfway through I realized the image looked kind of interesting in gray, white and black.

Several hours later, I had my bouquet colored in with all sorts of vibrant hues and a springtime color scheme, but I couldn’t help but think the earlier version had an understated charm that wasn’t easily surpassed.

Something similar occured when I wrote my novel A Rapturous Occasion. Originally, I wrote the book in a flurry of creativity, very eager to have it finished and in print in time for the holiday season. I actually finished editing the book on Thanksgiving while waiting for dinner, and self published it the next day. The readership was small, despite my efforts. It occured to me later I could very well just take A Rapturous Occasion off the market and completely rehaul it. If few people read it to begin with, who would know? I then sat down and reread the book, and found, to my surprise, I liked it how it was, imperfections and all. It didn’t have the stuffiness that many well polished novels have. Some scenes could have been expanded, others shortened, but otherwise I felt the book was as good as it could be and didn’t need much retouching or finessing (the most I did was correct about a dozen typos and added a new front and back cover). A Rapturous Occasion was my bouquet of grey flowers.

–Please follow me on Facebook for humorous images and updates on my writing career.

Have you had similar experiences during the artistic or creative process?

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