My favourite tool isn’t a paintbrush, it’s my iPhone

Creativity comes to me in bursts. It acts just like the proverbial busses. I sometimes go for weeks without much of a creative thought or idea passing through my busy, anxious mind and then suddenly they all come to me at once: tidal wave after tidal wave, and oddly, when they do, the anxiety subsides. It is a bit like taking a drug or suddenly waking up after a long, dreamless nap. When ideas come, I feel euphoric, excited and energised. I see everything clearly. There are colours. There are shapes. The world is ace. I am desperate to get ideas out.

This is how I feel this morning and I didn’t expect to feel this way. I’ve had a very busy few days. 

One of today’s creative thoughts was about my iPhone. I realised today that I cannot live without my iPhone. It is by my side all the time. It travels with me. It keeps me company. It sleeps near me. This love of my iPhone isn’t related to connectivity with the world via social media and the Internet (although it does do that for me and I love all that), this love is to do with the iPhone as art medium.

If an art idea strikes me, such as, photographing something I spot on my travels, or making a video, then my iPhone is my medium of choice. It can do both. I don’t even need to use PhotoShop or Adobe AfterEffects. 

Or if an abstract thought comes to me, or I see a poster for an art exhibition, I reach for my iPhone to explore the web like the cyberflaneur that I am. And doing that leads to other things and other things, more thoughts, even more thoughts and perhaps a concrete art concept. A good example is the day I saw an abandoned balloon in Wolverhampton. That lead to a year-long project.

My iPhone is my sketch pad too. I use the Notes application for noting down ideas, thoughts, words or urls to read later. I also include here book titles, magazine article references and key words for searching later. I write poems, I sketch out ideas with words and I use it for all sorts of note taking. In fact, it is a jumble of thoughts and ideas.

I love Notes


My iPhone is my portal onto feedback for my ideas too. I use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Messanger to get feedback and discuss ideas with friends. I have friends who I talk to who offer me an invaluable reciprocal relationship for creative ideas generation and discussion that may be virtual in nature but is no less important to me than any discussions I have in the real world.

My iPhone is my best friend in a way, as it is my route to so much potential. I know there are many who have written and talked about the dangers of living in a virtual, hyperreal, ethereal world rather than in the here-and-now real one of real people. In the virtual social sphere we interact with people we cannot see or touch through typed words and uploaded pictures but for me, this world, is very real, very vital and has helped me over the last few years get to where I am with my art practice.

Facebook idea generation

Thank you, little iPhone. I couldn’t live without you.

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