1. Paint and 2. Slash
My creative process typically follows these four progressive steps: A new piece almost invariably starts with a combination of colors popping inside my head or a mood. Very few pieces (although some) have evolved from an actual concept or idea.
From there, I use acrylic paint to create a large inventory of painted sheets on various types of paper to create a unique glow or sheen. Solid panels will serve as my base inventory while a range of multicolored, textured and visually more complex panels will be the highlight of a piece. No sheet ever gets discarded, if they don't make the cut on a current project, they end up in the Magical Bin where hundreds of unused sheets get stored for future projects.
The slashing is the most instinctive and freeing part of the process: It sometimes follows the clear vision of an imagined shape, at times it is purely instinctive and impulsive tearing of the paper while my hands are given free range to shape and create without any analytical input. This is when creativity is at its peak.
Composing is the most deliberate and strategic step of the process. It can be the most gratifying stage of creating a new piece or the most frustrating one. This is when each shred of paper gets validated as a necessary part of the final project and finds its unique place with relation to the others to bring cohesion and aesthetics to the final product.
Gluing each piece of painted paper onto the final board is the most overwhelming step as hundreds of strands are invariably intertwined in complex layers. Considerable patience, precision and organization are required when gluing each strand from the very bottom layer to the very top. This step will determine the final craftsmanship of the project. Many a time, last minute changes in composition occur during this step.
When the gluing part is over, final treatment takes place (final brushing of the piece and flattening) before framing.