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Discovering My Creative Process Part 1

Artist studio, surrounded by colourful paintings

My creativity has always been something that I was aware of. I struggle with numeracy and language is not something I have the best grasp of. I am definitely stepping outside my comfort zone by starting this blog section but I believe that it is time to start finding my voice. I spent years learning my visual language, and now I believe that it is time to begin translating it where I can.

Maybe starting at the beginning for context is a good idea, although I can go into more details in the future. Of course if you have questions I would be happy to answer them as well. I was born in Brighton on the same day as the first national lottery, I would say that I don't have a massive amount of luck but its been said before that I seem to be able to make my own luck. Often its just being in the right place at the right time so I hope that continues.

My family were able to nurture my love of the arts with regular trips to exhibitions and being so close to London we were able to visit events there, as well as on school trips. My Dad and Grandad in particular were both big influences on me as it was often exhibitions that they wanted to enjoy.

My Dad has a love of John Singer Sargent's work and we had a print of the Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose at home. The light and warmth of the piece was captivating and I remember the first time seeing that light emanating from the original painting and starting to understand the language that was being spoken.

father and young daughter

The two exhibitions that I really remember going to with my Grandad was the Turner exhibition at Tate Britain and the Nicholson and Mondrian exhibition at The Courtauld Institute of Art. Our visits to London exhibitions would often consist of a ton of walking across the city and the joy of watching my Grandad draw a crowd of fascinated people as he began share his wealth of knowledge. Starting with me but all it would take was one curious question from a nearby person would spread to form an impromptu guided lecture. Grandad was always an educator and fostered an understanding in me that information is to be shared, not horded. Many who knew Grandad would also know that he was also an artist and there was no greater gift than being able to spent time at his studio. My fondest memories of childhood are mornings learning the skills of an artist in the morning, and then going for seas swims in the afternoon. I do not believe that I would have such a keen knowledge that my dreams of living as a full time artist is achievable if I had not watched him in his studio finding peace and joy in his practice.

Grandfather and granddaughter wearing matching hats

Through this combination of nurturing my artistic skill at home and through education I discovered my own love of the Modernist movements and abstraction as a way to express myself. The work I did when I was younger leaned into expressionism, but one thing that has always maintained is my love of vibrant bold colours. I also loved the almost mathematical language of Kandinsky's work who seems to balance abstraction in a purely emotional plane. I was encouraged to work boldly and even from a young age and seeing the size of work that the Abstract Expressionists I was never put off by a large canvas. Grandad would often say, if a blank canvas frightens you first make a bold mark, and then move forward with skilled marks. I think that this is one of the best lessons an artist can learn, as it helps to activate the creative mind and avoid block. It is not about the end result, it is about the journey that you take to get there.

A piece that I was very proud of was this one, done at school. It was a large piece, and was an expressive, movement based exercise where I began to understand the marks that my body could make. From here I knew that my skill lay in translating the world I experienced around me into bold, abstract, vibrant, colourful forms.

From school I was able to hon my skills further and gain better understanding of my visual language via an Art Foundation Diploma and a Batchelor degree in Fine Art. I was able to explore and test what it was that I wanted to communicate through many mediums and methods. Although, one gift of the course was to be able to expand my creative experiences and guiding me to a deeper understanding of careers within the arts. My dissertation focused on the relationship between artist and audience, which has lead me towards my current career path of curation and exhibition/ gallery management. Although being an artist is my dream I also have a love of working within galleries and utilising spaces to share art and creativity, whether it is my own work or the work of others.

If you would like to see the work of Geoff Plant please click here

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