Revising the creative process

The first step to resolving a conceptual ( combining one or more things together, in order to make something new ) problem with relevancy begins with understanding that conceptual thinking is not opportunistic. It is episodic.

There is no top-down; left or right convention. We deal with an existing set of realities and by doing so, we’re dealing with concepts that have already been resolved by other expressions of creativity—considered perfect in most regards, solely because of prevalence. They are correct and work because they’ve been experienced and utilized, establishing form & function creating a unique, and relative perception or utility for other people.

To suggest there is a formula or process, suggests everything else in the world is innately wrong. The information we’ve received through observation, statistics, and opinions must be considered factual in order to conceptualize something with relevancy. If not, principally speaking, this will end the conceptual process before it begins and eliminate relevancy.

The creative process does not see the tree before the forest. It will see the forest and systematically work back in relation to the whole on a broader experiential plain. To scrutinize the height of the tree and it’s foliage is destructive and impulsive. As it is, the forest should be considered perfect. It has no immediate relative meaning to us, therefore there are no problems or logistical mistakes. And if you assume this is a top-down process then I urge the objective eye to look closer. Once you’ve broken the tree down, you’ll begin to see the leaves, then the veins, then the texture of the leaves and so on until you are so completely removed from the first and most obvious plain ( common relevance ), it would be near impossible to conceptualize a relatable experience to those of us still waiting by the tree line. The objective/solution is too far away, and unrelated to the common surveyors. The common surveyor is now lost in the forest and the only thing they care about is; getting out.

Once interested in the forest, the prospect may focus in on a path. Offering an experience related to a new a concept is equivocal to offering choice. Choice denotes value for the surveyor thereafter. Math whizes refer to this as infinite regression. If your idea or concept isn’t based on existing constructs, you’re likely to loose your surveyors’ attention or interest.

Again, to suggest there is a formula is to suggest everything else is wrong. We know that mother nature is not wrong. A problem may exist relative to us, but that is not something we should consider wrong; that it is not an observable truth or fact. A concept that is built on an existing set of concepts must be treated as fact. And we must assume that initial parameters of these facts are not going to change. They are perfect truths. And in agreeing to this, we must realize that if the parameters do change within the facts, the concept must be reevaluated entirely. A truth or fact is personal context, and if context fails, there is no perceivable relevancy. Information cannot be introduced into the concept without expecting the relevancy of the concept to change as well.

Information arranged and organized through symbols, colors, pictures and words creates content. Content presented in relationship either paralleling, or contrast existing content creates context. Context creates relevancy.

Removing the term creativity from this explanation and subsequently replacing it with solution, we might explain this process as; an existing system with a series of subsystems, that; based on their individual relationships, continue to create an additional set of subsystems with each reaction thereafter.

The value of creating

Emulation, as a pseudo-nurological phenomenon has propelled learning farther than most give it credit for. I have no scientific proof, but I’m going to pontificate with a capital ‘p’ for the sake of your attention and juxtapose the word over more prescriptive words for the sake of my point —
We learn through emulation — copying the footsteps for a dance teach us to learn that dance; taking a photograph is an emulation of a past experience; swimming with flippers represents our ability to emulate fish fins after first observing fish — this is actually how I think most people learn, generally speaking. We’re visual and tactile, auditorial and lastly, conceptual.

As an aspiring comic book artist, I copied my favorite page spreads. Eventually it was time to stop copying others’ work and start creating from memory — from “scratch,” as I would say back then.
But I learned through emulation, an uninhibited ability to express myself through another person’s visual language, coping pictures in order to see what other artists saw. Eventually, I matured, developing my own visual language, refining and honing it in a way that represented my specific ability. Writers similarly read their favorite books and authors.

If I had not had the freedom to copy, to learn through emulation, I would not have developed a personal technique; skill; tacit behaviors that define my work against others’ work, creating both an identity and a perceived value.

“I quote others only in order the better to express myself”
– Michel de Montaigne

In my opinion we’ve eclipsed sagacious and empirical learning — in the past, suppressed through religion, but near impossible to remove from the arts — we’ve usurped empirical learning with simulated and emulated emotions. We’re no longer influenced and raised by “the people in our neighborhood,” if even in our own country. We’re not experiencing much of anything, face-to-face, for extended duration; quality time with each other often seems none-existent.

Our ability to reason a stranger’s body language as friendly or aggressive, has diminished. Has body-language diminished while our attentions are focused elsewhere? Our ability to recognize the look of attraction vs curiosity is blunted like dolts staring at each other. And so, our verbal skills suffer because we’ve forgotten, and in some cases, neglected to share the basics; stand straight, eyes forward, speak clearly and confidently.

Everything is entertainment and content designed to project the world in an exaggerated fashion — exciting — unreal — not ever going to happen in our lifetime — it’s unhealthy. Our memories suffer with nothing significant to mark their day — their week — our lives. Content has supplanted memory, emotion and experience for many.

More so than any other time in history, people are xeroxing each others’ knowledge and emotions. Mostly emotions/actions they’ve learned from actors. Actors paid to dramatize life. We don’t talk to each other in one-liners and expect a laugh-track with each punchline, and consequently, we’re not nearly as frenetic as actors appear onscreen.

But that’s what we’re developing — people are xeroxing un-informed emotions, learned from actors and serialized content from streaming media — for hours straight — days in a row — desensitized of empathic senses, and resolute in learning passively through confabulatory and idiosyncratic identities. We’ve become mostly irreverent, indifferent, unaware of how others’ are actually living.

And when I say others, I mean our true next-door neighbors, colleagues, friends — maybe our own partners or children. Life doesn’t have a pacing — it just happens. Everyone needs a moment to remember, or improvise their lines — we should embrace the moments that mark our daily life more significantly. Content doesn’t constitute experience. Watching life doesn’t equate to living life.

Our voices are being drown out by dramatic presentation and representation. Our imaginations stifled by 24 images per second. And our ability to shape the word around us, a distant memory illuminated by HD quality pictures.

Until — ?

To not look at another drawing and draw from memory took practice, propensity and finally, prosperity. It took a shitload of months and years. And people crapped on my portfolio ALL the time. Someone eventually gave me a desk —

I found my “face,” as they used to say when referring to a new visual “style”. Vigorous encouragement from friends who genuinely took interest in my “thing” kept me focused. Their interest taught me to respect my craft. And mentors taught me to understand it through impositions.

Technique is a perfect mistake. Failure is okay. It’s the only way to discover your technique or signature — ?

Mass exploitation and self-exploitation is not art, or an art-form. The commercial promise collapsed years ago under the moniker of “user-generated-content”. Our culture is a simulation solely through a historical lens of mother natures’ force squeezing us into individual diamonds; polished, and strong — instead now, soft clay, constantly effected by forces around us, shaped too easily by emulated emotions, too —

We have peaked media.
We prosper more through participation and emulation than by passively watching. Our lives are marked more lucidly, making our creativity more original and more informed with each demonstration.

Originality is done

I hear this a lot, expressed in many different ways; It’s been done before, I’ve seen this but a little different, This reminds me of that one thing, So and so is already doing something similar.

This is a lonely sandbox to play in, isn’t it? I think this is oxymoronic. Ideas beget ideas. Perhaps the real point of interest is, we’re exposed to more ideas and communication than ever before in history. Not that lots of ideas and notions haven’t been thought of in previous years.

Today we have direct access to a lot of content. And while ideas borrow from ideas, there will always be originality. So it may appear that everything has been done before (the lonely sandbox), but questioning the propensity of originality is analogous to suggesting that a wade of clay will always end up the same shaped ceramic.

Turn off all the content long enough to think about what it is you’re thinking about. Spend time on iterative design, thinking and exploration. It’s okay to be a little like something else, too. Technique is making a perfect mistake. It has nothing to do with talent.