Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Trials and Triumphs of Coming Up With Creative Ideas

Looking, researching, collecting, reading, watching.... 

I have been gathering and developing information, shapes, colors, and texture into ideas for my next round of work. Its all been going slower then I want for the final ideas to develop. My sister always makes fun of me when she asks how's it going and I respond, "I'm waiting for the idea to come". She'll giggle and start whistling like I'm hanging out in a rocking chair until miraculously an epiphany occurs. Listen, I know how funny it sounds when I say it, but I can't help myself!

In my head, it takes some time for an idea to develop. Until I have a concrete form in my mind, I do not go ahead and start building. I also usually don't start sketching until that form appears. This is completely contrary to how you are taught in school to design or make art. You are taught to do research and immediately start drawing and making models until the final product develops. I have always had problems with that method. While I understand how it can be beneficial and on plenty occasions have used that method, it mostly leads to me becoming frustrated. I usually feel like I am wasting my time because my lines don't make sense or the materials and composition are all wrong, and I give up on the idea. If I ruminate over an idea and give it enough time, it will start to materialize into a finished piece in my mind. When I go to make it, about 95% of the time, it will come out exactly as I imagined. 

However, all of this doesn't really matter when sometimes, no matter what, you cannot come up with anything. Not one stinking idea or desire to create anything. Believe me, when this happens, it really really sucks. Sometimes, it can be years that go by and you feel like this.

Several years ago, a good friend of mine gave me a book written by Steven Pressfield called The War of Art. This book was a real eye opener and I have read it many times over the years. I could try to sum it up, but this excerpt from Pressfield's site offers the best summary. -

"What keeps so many of us from doing what we long to do? Why is there a naysayer within? How can we avoid the roadblocks of any creative endeavor—be it starting up a dream business venture, writing a novel, or painting a masterpiece? 
The War of Art identifies the enemy that every one of us must face, outlines a battle plan to conquer this internal foe, then pinpoints just how to achieve the greatest success."
I am lucky that most of my closest friends are creative and we are able to lament to each when we are in a state of war. It will usually take one of us piping up to say, "All right, suck it up and get in the studio." Which sadly, is the only sure way of breaking through the road block and getting creative. The truth that none of us like to admit is that we, ourselves, are what keep us from achieving our goals. Sometimes, me sitting around waiting for an idea to form is just an excuse for avoiding getting into the studio. So, when I am done with this post, I promise that idea that is forming in my head- I will get in the studio and start doing it. 


Jessica said...

I hope by now you've been in the studio creating. Just remember the McQueen exhibit and let it flow!!

Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading Co. said...

we can't wait to see your ideas come to life!

Jeff said...

ahhh..resistance, pesky friggin' resistance. DO THE WORK!