A French friend once told me that ‘constraint is freedom’. Well-travelled, she leads groups of artists on travel-sketching holidays. She always sets constraints, such as : “you have 30 minutes, and you must choose a subject between here and the end of the street”.
Strange as it may seem, this sort of constraint is actually quite liberating. The big decisions have been made, and the artist is now free to release his or her creativity and problem-solving skills on the subject, rather than spend all day wandering around a town or city trying to decide which is the ‘best’ scene to depict.
I find myself in the fortunate position of working on corporate commissions (in the finance and hotel-and-leisure sectors). It is liberating and will, I’m convinced, lead to my best work yet.
The more I think about it, nearly all the creatives I admire, in all genres, produced oeuvres to commission: Mozart, Vermeer, Shakespeare . . . . .