A local artist was interviewed and asked to describe exactly how he develops his ideas for paintings.
“Believe it or not, your imagination doesn’t need to be controlled.
In my experience, it actually works better when it’s not forced and
I just sit quietly and let it happen. In a sense, it’s as though my
ideas don’t come out of me so much as I allow them to move in
on me. I think the most important thing anyone can do to encourage
imagination is just relax. I have noticed that when I specifically
try to think of something, really strain towards an idea, very little
happens. But if I relax and open the doors, so to speak, ideas do come.”
While his creative practice suggests an almost mystical quality, upon closer examination it is apparent that this artist literally moves through the progressive neurological and psychological stages of development as described above. Initially, he suggests that it is difficult at best to attain an idea when he struggles to find it. When an idea is forced to occur, the problem appears to be content by remaining elusive and out of reach. Yet, when he intentionally creates a peaceful environment he begins to experience an incubation period where ideas “move in” on him.
Living the Creative Life has been written as a series of four articles that may be read through as a whole or individually. I have used these articles as a part of my first week’s curriculum to address some of the fear students may have as they begin their art experience. All of my students have told me they deeply appreciated this information as it helped them to realize they truly were creative.