Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Diving Deeper: Exploring The Emotional Challenges Truth

Visual artists find it harder to separate working lives from personal. The powerful force that drives a motivated, productive and fulfilled artist is their creative vision – something that encompasses painters, photographers, writers, graphic designers, art directors, film makers, musicians and includes in-closet artists such as plumbers, lawyers, engineers and professors. Without a desire to develop and use a creative vision, there’s little point in going on. A willingness to nurture it can release the slumbering artist or technologist from an unfulfilled existence into a bright, vivid world, where an insightful and highly creative life simply flows.

Creative vision is a process, a permanent state of openness and a willingness to challenge everything you’ve ever thought about yourself and been taught about in general. Creativity is driven by questions, not answers – by understanding, intuition and the subjective. The search for an artist’s practice begins with the artist himself or herself; a revealing personal self-analysis is one of the first hurdles to negotiate. Artists are too often labeled or categorized and too often they are instrumental in labeling themselves. By doing so, they wear one hat at all times. Wouldn’t it be more fun to try on lots of different hats? Step outside our ‘normal’ selves and play a little.

Creative vision? Is it a process? A way of doing things differently? An ability to drive forward, to constantly innovate and create challenging art? To break the rules? To produce work with passion, and to inspire passion in others?

Perhaps it’s easier to define what it’s not. It’s not derivation or imitation, it’s not being experimental for the sake of it, to show off or to demonstrate technical or mechanical mastery. It’s not slavishly following the fashions of the day or eagerly jumping on to arty bandwagons.

Creativity is a process that requires you to question everything and allows you to challenge every assumption, every unwritten rule. It lets you experiment freely in the knowledge that your experiments may provide the vehicle for bringing into being a sense of clarity or it may fail but still be useful to your learning. It’s about being relentlessly positive and maximizing your imaginative power to drive your productive output. It also allows people to dispense with their adult egos and adopt the curiosity and playfulness of a child.

Creativity begins internally with the personality, experiences and nature of the artist. Eventually it seeps externally into the world through the eyes and hands that capture the thought. Our task is to understand this journey, make rewarding choices along the way and allows ourselves to wander without barriers or restrictions.

Creativity can be defined as:

- A willingness to replace ambiguity with simplicity

- An interest in the surreal or the hyper-real

- An interest in what lies under the surface

- Exploring the emotional challenges to find the truth

How to get most out of your big thoughts?

Challenge every rule

Where do rules come from? Who says this or that is so? The art world is full of rules. Some are very formal, such as the rules on composition laid down in rigid Victorian times. While others trickle down informally from positions of cultural power, permeate educational institutions and become stifling straightjackets that can directly and profoundly affect the course of an artist’s practice.

Use a notebook to keep thoughts flowing

Memory can’t always be relied upon when one is preoccupied with the business of creation. Jot down ideas as and when they occur.

Give yourself doodling time

Time to fiddle about absent-mindedly is a gift. Experiment without outcome purely for the fun and see what develops.

Develop and trust your intuition – not technology

Intuition can only flourish once technology is mastered or at least until the technology becomes familiar.