Ideation Lab–An Exploration into ‘Being Bad At It’

posted in: Artistic Process, Design, Theory 0

A few weeks ago I made a decision that I’ve been threatening to make for a long time–I joined a paid online course to help me further my art career and deepen my process.

I’ve been watching this course for a while–I know the founders, love the idea and always try to take full advantage of the free mini-courses and content they offer.

These guys are legit and I wanted to be part of that. So when the application opened for this year’s Ideation Lab, I jumped on the opportunity.

I did this even though I had a voice in my head telling me that I was never going to finish it, never going to get anything from it, that I was going to be so bad at all of the assignments that I might as well not even try…etc. etc. We all know the asshole that lives in our brains that tells us we suck.


So, with mine in full swing, I jumped in anyway and started down the Ideation Lab path.


Full disclosure–I’m a few weeks behind on the class content because of some very HUGE work opportunities and learning experiences but I have not quit and I have not given up on completing it. The fact that I’m not the only one who couldn’t do everything in the exact time frame actually makes me feel better simply because it illustrates that you can still be dedicated to something even if it’s not your top priority.

It’s a sticky balance to fight for sure.

That being said, the course itself is awesome and amazing. And I’m terrible at most of the assignments, as I feared I would be, but I also don’t necessarily care. That’s the whole reason to do it, isn’t it? To get better? To get back into the practice and routine of working in a sketchbook? It is for me.

This is a course that is primarily designed for a by Illustrators, which I am not. Not even a little bit. But, I’ve still found the lessons useful and the community is great.

I’ve gotten through week 4 of 12 and I’m looking forward to working on the rest of it now that I have my huge meetings out of the way and have caught up on some of my other lingering projects.

The goal is to help artists think through their creative problems, create more interesting relationships between the concepts in their work and learn how to work from a point of reference (existing text, self-generated texts, a word list, whatever it is).

Once you can refine and mature the way you approach solving your creative problem (by first creating an interesting one), the more compelling and relevant your work is going to be. At least that’s the theory. I’ve already seen a lot of great growth in the group as a whole and I look forward to being able to reflect on my own experiences and see the growth within myself as well.

I might be ballsy enough to actually post some examples here eventually but for now, suffice it to say that I am working on my own ideation and how to become a more complex and involved artist.