The act of Creation is sometimes described as a “true act of change”.
In most cases, it is a transformative process, involving the manipulation of ideas and materials. Normally when we speak of this act we are talking about an exercise; a dance between the material or medium and the idea, that ultimately materializes in a form of expression.
The creative process often relies on the ability to approach an idea from different perspectives and imagine alternative outcomes. This activity undoubtedly benefits from some form of disassociation. This may involve pretending that you have never seen your design or drawing before, or using a mirror to re-orientate the image in order to see it from a different perspective or with fresh eyes.
It often requires a period of reflection and we may need to ”sleep on it” in order to find a new approach and arrive at a solution to a problem. As Albert Einstein said “A problem can not be solved with the same consciousness that created it.” Often we need to reach within ourselves, gathering information or concepts from memory or from that mental database of ideas that we build from our every day experiences. Certainly to keep our creations sincere we rely on personal experiences and knowledge.
If your creation is based on a true experience in your life, then the emotional reaction from that event will be genuine, although communicating that is, all together, another matter. It is generally agreed that a work of art starts with the intellectual portion of the expression and involves a cognitive exercise; an idea, message, or spark of inspiration to which the artist will bind the material.
This has been described as a period of: Insight, Vision, or Investigation; and some have gone so far as to call this the accumulation of Experience. Charlie Gilkey suggests that
“It’s at this phase that your conscious and subconscious mind are working on the idea, making new connections, separating unnecessary ideas, and grabbing for other ideas.”
Some artists begin with a message, something that they would like to convey to the world through images. Others feel that art should reflect our selves and our society in order to provide some insight that might provoke the viewer to thought. The following stages in the operation involve the evolution of the idea and have labeled this part of the process: Digestion, Incubation, Evaluation, Meditation or Analysis.
After which the process may be interrupted by a period of disassociation, as described earlier, or even halted completely through the influence of: Doubt, Hesitation, Frustration or Confusion. Often the next phase is considered to be that of “Illumination”, often referred to as having had “an epiphany” or a “eureka” moment.
No matter what you call it or how many stages you allot to the process, this exercise is a dance that may either never find an ending as we despondently abandon ship (and move on to either the nearest bar or another project) or on the brighter side, the dance may end in triumphant jubilation!
Above all try to remember to dance like no one is watching.
By Blake & Boky
- Charlie Gilkey, Demystifying the Creative Process http://www.productiveflourishing.com/demystifying-the-creative-process/