Understanding the four stages of the automatic drawing creative process

Understanding the four stages of the automatic drawing creative process

by CreativeMindClass • 5 min read

How do great automatic drawing artists come up with ideas when they are creating? And what are the steps in their creative process that enables them to bring those ideas to life?

Creator's Story
How the creative mind works. By makers of CreativeMindClass #1 Platform for Creating and Selling Online Courses.

Welcome to our interview with freelance illustrator Araki Koman, an expert in the automatic drawing creative process. In this interview, we will delve into the four stages of this technique and learn how Araki Koman uses it to access her unconscious mind and tap into creativity. We will also get a glimpse into the mind of this talented artist and learn more about his artistic journey and inspiration.

The automatic drawing creative process is a technique used by artists to access their unconscious mind and tap into their creativity.

Put yourself in a receptive frame of mind, draw without thinking, and avoid conscious control over the image. Keeping your pencil on the paper can help the flow. In fact, automatic drawing is a sort of accelerated or intensified doodling in which unexpected and unpredictable images can be made to appear and used as the basis for the further visual play.

A Book of Surrealist Games

How do great automatic drawing artists come up with ideas when they are creating? And what are the steps in their creative process that enables them to bring those ideas to life? Disconnecting from the constant flow of thoughts and distractions is an essential part of the automatic drawing technique.

So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn about the fascinating world of automatic drawing with Araki Koman.

Automatic drawing examples: Earthy colour palette, raw lines and organic shapes  

Soft raw lines and organic shapes, matte texture and sand-like colours are merged together in Araki Koman's automatic drawings. She currently works on a black ink Raw Feminine series she started in 2020. Check out some of her automatic drawing examples:

Automatic drawing examples: Medicine Woman. Black fineliner on a white paper.
Medicine Woman. Raw Feminine Series (2020 — ongoing)
Automatic drawing examples: Moon (2020). Hair drawing on a earthy colored background.
Moon (2020)
Automatic drawing examples: Japan nostalgia (2016). Two Japanese women. Black fineliner on a white background.
Japan nostalgia (2016)

Araki Koman about her automatic drawing process

"To be honest, everything I do is automatic. When I have a project, a commission, I know where it is supposed to go. I know what the client wants. I always trust the process and that it would eventually lead to the final result that we both like. Sometimes I have a reference but I quickly give that reference up and I just allow the process to lead to the final result. (…) When I see my drawings from the past I never know how to do them again and I am not feeling that I am the one doing them. Yes, it’s my hands drawing, it’s me drawing it but I am very spiritual and I feel like it’s a higher consciousness doing it through me."

The four stages of the automatic drawing process by Araki Koman

Stage 1: Preparation

In this stage, it is important to set the stage for a relaxed and focused mindset, as this will allow you to tap into your unconscious mind and access your creativity. Araki Koman shares her tips and techniques for preparing for an automatic drawing session, including finding a comfortable and quiet space, setting an intention, and letting go of any expectations or preconceptions. Follow along as we explore the crucial first step in the automatic drawing process.

"Usually, I start with a reference image that I like. I draw an element and at some point, it is not me doing the rest of the drawing anymore, it is literally my hands doing the shapes. It’s like a puzzle, things are happening on their own, and I am just witnessing it."

Stage 2: Creation

This is where the magic of automatic drawing really happens, as you allow your pen or pencil to move freely across the page, making marks and lines without thinking too much about them. In this stage, it is important to let go of any self-judgment and simply have fun with the process. Hold your pen or pencil loosely and use a variety of marks and lines.

"I like listening to a podcast or to music while drawing, to keep my mind focused on something else. I have to completely detach myself from the process and focus on something else like the music I am listening to or the dialogue of the podcasts. I am just allowing my hands to do everything by themselves."

Stage 3: Editing

In this stage, you will use your conscious mind to refine and add details to your drawing, bringing it to completion. This is a chance to bring your unique vision and style to thee piece and make it your own.

"All editing also happens naturally. When I am editing, I am continuing the process also without being completely there. Sometimes, I have to close what I am doing, step away from work, go do something else and then come back to look at the result. Is it the final result? Am I happy with it, or should I add something else that did not come the first time? Most of the time, it is quite effortless, I am completely disconnected from what’s happening around me. It’s 80% of letting go, 10% of research, and 10% of editing at the end."

Stage 4: Verification

The verification stage of the automatic drawing process, as described by Araki Koman, is the final step in the creation of a drawing using this technique. During this stage, the artist reviews the completed drawing and makes any necessary adjustments or corrections to ensure that it accurately reflects their intended vision and meets their standards of quality. This may involve fine-tuning certain details, making overall compositional changes, or simply examining the drawing as a whole to ensure that it is aesthetically pleasing and coherent. The goal of the verification stage is to produce a finished drawing that is true to the artist's original intention and represents the best possible version of their work.

"When I see my automatic drawings from the past, I never know how to do them again, and I am not feeling that I am the one doing them. Yes, it’s my hands drawing, it’s me drawing, but I am very spiritual, and I feel like it’s higher consciousness doing it through me. I guess I had a talent initially that pushed me to draw a lot as a child. I was very interested in drawing, so I know it’s in a way my mission to do that at this specific time, in this specific realm and embrace it as my job now."

Gaze at more of Araki's automatic drawings on her Instagram space.

Artist + Freelance Illustrator

Araki Koman

Araki Koman is a freelance illustrator living in the UK. When she was a kid, she used to draw automatic up until her teenage years, and then stopped for about a decade. She enrolled in a graphic design course after leaving her digital marketing job. From then on, Araki has allowed intuition to lead her career and creative thinking process.

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