February 28th, 2011


Creativity Error - Please Reboot

I think I am going to have to resign myself to standing there looking at the cube at NNG and thinking how my ideas could have looked if I had managed to execute them in any reasonable approximation of what's in my imagination. Mostly I was limited by lack of materials, at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it. But I suspect that any true artist would be able to adapt with the materials at hand, and/or allow the materials to have a say in the outcome. I limited myself by having not only a specific concept in mind before even looking at materials, but also by somehow mentally restricting myself to materials I imagined would help me create what I wanted - when in fact looking at materials earlier on could have allowed other (theoretically more reachable) ideas to take hold, or at least given me an impression of different ways to create the same thing.

Anyway I went out with my son the other night and took loads of photos, mostly of lighted logos and signs at stores and restaurants, and thought we had a clever idea - we were going to extract all the lighted 'A' letters and create a mish-mash of A's of different styles and scales, the idea being that it would look like a blazing, nighttime garish lighted Las Vegas style extravaganza. But when all the A's were put together on a single canvas, it wound up looking like a collection of different typeface and you can't even tell that they were lights to begin with - not at all interesting. The selection process in PhotoShop removed any of the glow from the letters and I am not good enough at PhotoShop to enhance the letters that way in the new canvas and add the depth and brightness I can clearly see in my mind's eye. My son insisted that I submit the image though, and we did spend hours on the concept, so...well let's just say I don't expect that one to be chosen ;-)

Among the ideas that didn't get made: a shadowland of dancing cubes (that one's my favorite); a square Death Star getting blown up by the Apparatjik cube in an epic space battle (that one was going to be a model LOL); a square light-frame made from hand-colored transparency paper over a single lightbulb (trust me, in my mind this thing is gorgeous!); an overlapped night image of several cars with headlights criss-crossing; and more besides. In fact I keep coming up with ideas not knowing if they are anything like what they want, but not caring because I now want to make them whether they would be chosen or not. And it was so fun to have my son really into the project and suggesting things for us to make too! So I feel a kind of 'artist impulse' that is new for me; the impulse to create is a wonderful thing, and even when frustrated, it is definitely better than blindly accepting what is, as is. Seeing those possibilities makes the world much more interesting.

So now I am back in my comfort zone, with words :-) And all I can say is that even though it made my brain hurt, I am glad I at least tried to come up with something. I still regret not making a Magne doll back in 2007, I talked myself out of it before I even looked for materials, so I am going to give myself some credit for creative progress and let it go now ;-)

Can't wait to see what other people came up with and to see that massive cube in person!