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.

Can religion coexist with science?

It’s contingent on accepting fact over fiction. We have a large part of society that truly believes they do not need to be concerned with the world as it is now—today—here—now.

We have another part of society that believes their religion and god(s) afford them a higher role in society, over those of us that do not subscribe to their religions.

We have another part of society that uses their religion and god(s) as political platform for constituting social order through fear and oppression.

We have another part of society that thinks, since their religion and god(s) are benign (from a contemporary standpoint, due to years of amendments, removing all traces of historical violence ), they can supersede fact with fiction by remaining passive.

We have another part of society that uses religion and god(s) for capital gain through commercialization of hope and fear.

As our knowledge grows, and we get better at sharing our knowledge with each other, in order to refute and disprove facts and fiction, we should discover something more useful—ideally—

Why do we avoid blaming—the blame—religion, politricks

It is a manifestation of people unable to deal with both real events requiring action, and real emotions that deal with reactions.

It is, in my opinion, a mass-psychosis induced by a generation* brought up entirely on media screens, unfettered by the real—unabated processing and absorption of information—as spectators only. Life-experience is traded out for video snippets, sound-bites, and hashtags. None of which provide insight; wisdom; sagacity.

Conviviality vs. truth; because on TV, everyone has a clever quip—an obvious insight—an amicable solution—nobody gets hurt when the studio lights go dark.

Conversely, there are many people working for the media that incite riot and innuendo as professional pretenders. They work for agendas, maximizing our attention on narrowed and limited ideas.

We’ve unsuccessfully moved from being noise junkies to noise producers—trading our value centers for contrived idealisms. We are coming dangerously close to losing our ability to provide well-thought and informed ideas—

Let alone, long-term memory retention of the things we’ve created. Their respective failures and successes are instantly magnified and then consequently reduced to nothing, tossed out, and overwritten. As a rapid-prototyping creative democracy approaches, we forget before we’ve learned. The most precious of commodities; exchanging, implementation, and advancement of ideas through fair and ubiquitous streams of information can potentially hurt us when we can’t objectively review and participate with the abstract world.

As the micro-centralized, neo-feeling, thought-idealists collect, where or how, do we continue to provide unlimited access and information through a synchronized operating system (the internet) without censoring people and creating the same depreciated socio-economical walls that exist offline?

Youth is conflated with vulnerability, amplified by predators still politricking the system. But this time around, we’ve given our attention to social networks that censor our thoughts like authoritarian aristocrats who have no intention of working with us, but re-education is fine.

If we can’t learn to cooperate, we’ll find ourselves under the thumb of those who are more comfortable and happy to control your life for you. If we continue to mis-categorize our language and emotions—if we can’t address issues as they are, we can’t provide tangible solutions.

We must learn to contend with it everyday. Most importantly, we must all be more informed about the ideas we’re exposed too. The You; We; Me and I in media will always lead to Us.

*Young and old


I recently tried to present this at a PKN event. I didn’t do so well and frankly, it wasn’t the right venue for discussion/debate or tomato-tossers. PKN= 20 slides, each slide presented in 20 seconds… No fuss.

Chris Wodja and Kellie Osgood put this little shin-dig on and have successfully completed 2-out-the-4 meet-ups required by PKN.

Tonight, while writing this post, I received a ping from Paul Isakson’s blog. Once I followed, I noticed a recent post containing a presentation that compliments mine in various ways. It seems that everyone is starting to see the same things happen. Actually, its been happening for a while, some just refused to admit/embrace it.

Please keep in-mind, I was talking through portions of this to keep pace, so slides may disconnect conceptually. Feedback is always appreciated!


The Decline of Heroes


Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

” For The Crisis of the Old Order, the first volume in his continuing study of the Rooseveltian era, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., won the Society of American Historian’s Francis Parkman Prize. His The Age of Jackson, published in 1945, won the Pulitzer Prize. Like his father, who has written fifteen important social and historical studies, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., is professor of history at harvard University. He is married and has four children.

Ours is an age without heroes–and, when we say this, we suddenly realize how spectacularly the world has changed in a generation. Most of us grew up in a time of towering personalities. For better or for worse, great men seemed to dominate our lives and shape our destiny. In the United States we had Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt. In Great Britain, there were Lloyd George and Winston Churchill. In other lands, there were Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Clemenceau, Ghandhi, Kemal, Sun Yatsen. Outside of politics there were Einstein, Freud, Keynes. Some of these great men influenced the world for good, others for evil; but, wether for good or for evil, the that each had not died at birth made a difference, one believed, to everyone who lived after them.

Today no one bestrides our narrow world like a colossus; we have no giants who play roles which one can imagine no one else playing in their stead. There are a few figures on the margin of uniqueness, perhaps: Adenauer, Nehru, Tito, De Gaulle, Chiang, Kai-Shek, Mao Tse-tung. But there seem to be none in the epic style of those mighty figures of our recent past who seized history with both hands and gave it an imprint, even a direction, which it otherwise might not have had. As De Gaulle himself once remarked on hearing of Stalin”s death, “The age of giants is over.” Whatever one thought, wether one admired or detested Roosevelt or Churchill, Stalin or HItler, one nevertheless felt the sheer weight of such personalities on one’s own existence. We feel no comparable perssures today. Our own President, with all his pleasant qualities, has more or less explicitly renounced any desire to impress his own views on history. The Macmillans, Khurshchevs and Gronchis have measurably less specific gravity than their predecessors. Other men could be in their places as leaders of America or Britain or Russia or Italy without any change in the course of history. Why ours should thus be an age without heroes, and whether this condition is good or bad for us and for civilization, are topics worthy of investigation.

Why have giants vanished from our midsts? One must never neglect the role of accident in history; and accident no doubt plays a part here. But too many accidents of the same sort cease to be wholly accidental. One must inquire further. Why should our age not only be without great men but even seem actively hostile to them? Surely one reason we have so few heroes now is precisely that we had so many a generation ago. Greatness is hard for common humanity to bear. As Emerson said, “Heroism means difficulty, postponement of praise, postponement of ease, introduction of the world into the private apartment, introduction of eternity into the hours measured by the sitting-room clock.” A world of heroes keeps people from living their own private lives.

Moreover, great men live dangerously. They introduce extremes into existence–extremes of good, extremes of evil–and ordinary men after a time flinch from the ultimates and yearn for undemanding security. The Second World War was the climax of an epoch of living dangerously. It is no surprise that it precipitated a universal revulsion against greatness. “