Creativity, Words & Pictures – A Dada approach

There are many ways to develop a creative approach to subjects and themes, one I learned many years back was how the Dada artists created poetry, in particular they were interested in taking an anti art stance and as such often broke a lot of “rules” around writing and art, the great thing for us is they found some very creative ways to explore things.

One of the things that stands out about this technique (or at least my version of it) is how easy it is to get something going, have fun and watch it evolve (sometimes not, but most times yes!)

The can be a fun technique to explore with friends at a party (when all else seems dismal…)

So the idea is to grab a book or three and aim to grab snippets of information, words, phrases etc and string them together randomly, sometimes the chunks can seem to have some form of connection though.

One way to do this is to flip through the pages and see what grabs or stops, take that page and go for a  stab in the dark, point at a section and write down the words or statements, then string them together and read what you get.

Another approach is to copy a bunch of pages randomly from books on a topic or theme, and then cut up the lines of words, and paste them together in various was, read it out and see what you get.

Often the most absurd strings of words and phrases give the best result.

Now having created the words and or “poetry” your aim is to use the information to form a foundation for an art work. Consider a collage of copied sections of writing, enlarged, painted over, stained, used as a decopage/collage over an object. or perhaps the words in your poetry suggest an image or series of images that relate to your theme or subject, therefore leading your creativity.

It can be a fun technique which might give you ideas and options to explore some creative approaches to your work, now you need never be struck with a blank canvas again.

There are lots of ways you can make this work, adding pictures and so forth to create collages and so on. Think of a few variations on the basic theme of random searching and come up with some techniques of your own, then write them in your Art Journal for future reference.


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