Thank you for the question, and my apologies! I didn’t know I had mail >_<
Sometimes there is an assigned theme for a project I’m participating in, and that’s a great starting point. But if I’m working on something just for funsies I usually have something in mind to pursue- maybe nothing too specific, maybe just an emotion or a color palette that makes me feel a certain way. Then the imagery starts to develop as I research, read some stories or poems etc. I keep a dream journal too, sometimes that provides imagery.
Eventually, the kind of figure to use, the pose, and symbolic elements start to come about in the thumbnail sketches. And the whole process is very fluid so I may start completely over at this point.
It can be nerve wracking to start a project with very specific expectations you feel you have to meet. I’ve found that the more you can work on something for just yourself, and keep doing it, the whole process can get to be like muscle memory and in itself very rewarding.
In a few weeks I’ll be working on a time lapse video for a new painting project, which will go over a bit of the technical process I like best. So if you’re following me on here and are interested in stuff like that, be sure to keep your eyes out!
Thanks again for the question! Feel free to ask if you wanna know anything else!