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