“My Creative Process (Part 1 – Pre-Art)” by Richard F. Yates

I have number of different methods for indulging my creative urges (poetry, freewriting, collage, digital art, painting, blah blah blah…), but one of my favorite art forms is drawing on recycled card board. Here is (the first part of) my technique:

1. Gather materials! Instead of just trashing or recycling those cereal boxes and other cartons, I take these items, once they are emptied, and fold them flat, then stash them next to a bookshelf until I have a nice stockpile.


2. When I have a decent pile, I grab it and a pair a scissors, and sit on the floor (usually by the sliding glass door, so I have a nice view of the squirrels terrorising around in the backyard.)

It’s also important to have a solid quality control expert on hand to oversee your project. I find cats to be good quality control specialists. Here, you can see Gitzy (although I THINK she thinks she’s hiding behind that tablecloth) watching to make sure my work is up to par.


3. Trim your materials. I like to use the folds in these materials, which often have a little lip or raised area defining them, as guides for trimming. A cereal box, then, will produce two nice sized “canvases” ready to draw on, with some “extra,” much thinner strips where the edges of the box were. Because I also like to draw little, tiny drawings sometimes (which get a lot of texture when you blow them up in size after photographing them…but I’ll go more into that in the next episode,) I will also cut a number of little chunks of cardboard, maybe 2 or 3 inches across. So, by cutting up various sizes of boxes and by trimming some cardboard bits into very tiny canvases, I am reusing what could potentially be waste material and turning it into ART. (AND saving money that I would have spent buying art supplies at the crafts store…) The excess bits that are too small or too ragged to use go into my recycle bin.


4. Check with your quality control expert to see if your work has been approved. (If so, good! You can move on…)


5. You are now ready to ART! Once you have a number of canvases at your disposal, you can grab a variety of pens, pencils, Sharpies, charcoal pencils, oil pastels (or even acrylic or watercolor paints—cardboard is tough enough to take even wet stuff) and get ready to create!!! AND in the next episode, I’ll show you how I would proceed from here…


If this little post gives you some ideas (or if it’s ridiculously insane,) then leave me a comment. What do YOU like to draw or paint on??? Alright…I better go feed the quality control expert. She gets grouchy if she’s ignored for too long!

—Richard F. Yates (Holy Fool)



About richardfyates

Compulsive creator of the bizarre and absurd. (Artist, writer, poet, provocateur...)
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2 Responses to “My Creative Process (Part 1 – Pre-Art)” by Richard F. Yates

  1. Your cat drawing looks incredibly lifelike.

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