An interview with artist Geoff McFetridge. He talks about what creativity and comfort mean to him.What does creative freedom mean to you?
My focus has been making art since I was a teenager. So, for me, a huge part of creative freedom is the ability to change; to be able to follow my interests, to develop new ways of being creative and new ways of working. And to be able to sort of have that control is huge. It’s up to me what I do next.Do you feel like you've always had creative freedom in what you do?
I think it's increased. You know, when you're really young, you have a lot of creative freedom but you don't know what to do with it. For me, I needed some sort of structure. I wanted to feel when I sat down, I sort of knew a little bit of what to do. And I feel like I'm more comfortable now with options, you know? The tyranny of choice. Having a lot of choices is also difficult, but when I was younger, I was like, "Oh, I want to narrow it down: What am I about? What does what I make look like?" I didn't really know. I was trying to figure it out, you know? Now creative freedom is opportunity or exposure. I can do things and make things and people can see them. That's a kind of powerful sort of freedom.
Can you roughly describe your creative process?
I think everything's a little bit different but usually I sit down and everything sort of starts in a book. I work in notepads, or a sketchbook. It's basically a sketchbook, it’s very open with the ability to write things. I'll write. I'll use words. I'll use drawings. I'll use tiny sketches. I'll do more finished drawings. You sort of start with nowhere. And then it's like, "Okay I could draw something very simple, or instead of drawing a spiderweb, I could write “spiderweb” and then you think, “Oh spider...net...fishing net,” you know? “Circle, concentric circles. Oh, the concentric circles are like a trap, and the trap, you can hold something. Something living in the thing, in a box. A web is like a box.” Sometimes it's easier to write something. Sometimes you're clearer with words, one thing leads to another. And for me it's a trick to lose yourself in a thought, an idea, and to get to a zone where it's like, "The only way I can actually explain this at this point, is by drawing this spiderweb that's melting into a box that's holding a guys head,” you know? It's like, "Oh, it's a web that's holding someone's thinking."
For me, it’s the creative process about finding the purpose in what you're doing, like, "Oh, now I've got some traction," and now I have this book of sketches, I have this trail, so you can go back. And I'll sort of sit back and go through the pages. It's not like everything's good. Most of it is actually not interesting. For me, working is about getting all the uninteresting ideas and all the stuff that's not important out of the way. It's not about creating things that are good, it's actually getting rid of the things that are bad, or uninteresting. They're not bad, just not compelling. So you get those things out of the way, and then you're left with what is important. So then I go back, find the things that are important and then I'll go, "Okay, should this be a painting? Could this be something I make on the computer? Should I make it on the computer, print it out and trace it?" And once I leave the world of drawing, then it becomes a little more mechanical. "Well, what's the way to express this?" And the paintings are important to me, "Oh, this is a really effective way to take things that are drawings, and make them not a drawing." It became very mechanical. Like the thing I was talking about, mechanical creativity. It became this very mechanical challenge that came out of drawing. So it's super different than drawing, but it was an effective way to move past the drawings, you know?