One of the oldest techniques I use to invent imagery is to just make a bunch of marks and see what I see. I sometimes make a bunch of thumbnail sketches, and then choose whichever one inspires me at the moment. I made about a dozen thumbs before making my most recent piece (above right and below).
In the original thumb, I just saw two heads on something like a, uh, saucer, or something, and I thought that was unusual. I’m about to do another one, and so I went back to look at the thumbs I’d created, and I rediscovered the seemingly unpromising original I used for the last piece. It may now make more sense, in a way, why, for example, the center figures nose is made up of two, tube-like nostrils, which curl only around its right eye. That is just a development, which I kept, from the original (partly a Picasso influence there). Check it out, below, and see what other things remained throughout the whole process.
Some things were barely suggested, like the open skull on the right hand figure, and the transparent membrane enveloping it. It’s an unusual, and in some ways highly inefficient way to work (ex., everything keeps changing), but produces novel results.
The thing that attracts me about this process, which I come back to time and again, is that anything is possible, and I don’t know what I’m going to come up with. There’s mystery involved, and it’s also kinda’ fun to see something slowly materialize. It also relies completely on the imagination and ones extant drawing/painting skill-set. There isn’t the boredom I have with executing a preconceived idea, where I know what I’m going to get, or close to it, from the onset. Here, I invent as I work, and it all sort of evolves together.
Because it’s a sort of an unintentional Rorschach test in the bargain, it’s bound to be rife with subconscious, psychological material.