Exploring the past, the present and possibilities- with sojourns into the abyss thrown in for good measure!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Process of Creating

I write. I make art. These are just things I do.
I would not be so bold as to call myself an author or an artist, even in the sitting-in-a-coffee-house-while-attempting-to-look-earnest-and-artsy sense.

Join any chat group, read an artist blog long enough, and inevitably the question of "How does one create?" comes up.
I find it surprising that anyone would attempt to define such a magical process. Then I realized, it is not magic for some, or rather for many. It seems that plotting, planning and premeditation control the creative process. This begs me to ask, is that truly creating?

Of course, in the very base of the definition, it is. You are giving birth to something new to the world. At the same time, where is the spontaneous nature that can lead down magical rabbit holes?

I took the time to evaluate what I do.

I write. I start with an idea, some distant twinkle that has no clear definition and I write a few words on a page. The twinkle becomes clearer, less obscure. Images begin to appear in my minds eye, slowly at first like a photograph building speed into a flip book and eventually rolling off like a movie. My fingers ache to keep up with it all as the action unfolds. I sleep, breathe and eat these alternate worlds.

Most interesting to me is that there are times when I have such a clear idea of how things will go, and then these living beings dancing across my page tell me "No." They move along at their own pace and tell me how their lives will be. I am simply their vessel, the one who allows them to come to life. These characters honour me by allowing me to tell their stories, and in doing so they enrich my life.
I can't ever say that there is a process to that, or that I create them. I see and am inspired. I absorb. I translate.

My art, body art and sketches that is, comes from a wholly different place.
This involves much planning on my part. I have templates that I draw on to get the images to flow just right. There is researched involved. Sifting through images on Flikr, Google and books until I find something that works just right.
The image I come up with is a gem in the rough, one that becomes refined and polished later with details that evolve as I move through the piece. The end result is generally an image that comes close to what I had originally set out to create.
Process is a monumental part of these projects.

Which is more accurate to my personal style? Well...that, my friends, is a topic for another day because I do believe it involves defining my style. What I do know is that they both work for me.
Neither is flawless, and I fully admit that it may not be correct for everyone but I don't believe for an instant that there is a correct way to write or to make art.
Whatever teachers, professors or professionals say may be relevant for them but at the end of the day what I am left with is MY computer, MY pen and paper, MY own creative mind.
And that's honestly good enough for me.