The Creative Process: is confrontation

January 10, 2014 Writing  3 comments

 The Creative Process series is my way of trying to understand how creative people create.

The creative process is the way in which an artist creates or brings something new into being. It’s the vision; the crafting of an idea; the act of sculpting, painting, molding, filming, acting, writing; it’s the drafting process; the editing process; the act of engaging oneself wholly; it’s taking what one see’s in their imagination and bringing it forth into the world.

But before creation can begin, a confrontation must take place.

Because, you see, artistic people of whatever medium (graphic design, film, music, painting, drawing, writing, acting, etc) are people who are highly sensitive to the world around them. They see and perceive the chaos, the beauty, the complexities, the good, the evil, the contradictions, the possibilities and find that they are often separate from them. They find that all those pieces – that they see, feel, taste, hear, and smell – don’t add up or fit together.

And this deeply troubles them.

This incompleteness causes a disorienting pain in the artists soul. They experience internal conflict from the dissatisfaction of what is and what could be. And art, creation, is what helps them configure the pieces into a coherent whole that helps them make sense of their world. The artist takes what is and transforms it into something better.

“The creative process starts always with the seeing or sensing of a problem. The roots of creativeness lie in one’s becoming aware that something is wrong, or lacking, or mysterious. One of the salient traits of a truly creative person is that he see’s problems where others don’t,” says Donald MacKinnon, a psychologist

Artists must confront problems and ugly realities. They must make contact and struggle with all their limitations, all their anxieties, all their shortcomings, all their overwhelming thoughts, all their experiences, all their feelings about the destruction, the love, the work, the hate, the interaction, the conflict that is the essence of the human experience, of what it means to be human. They must engage with the world in order to change it.

Artists are “forever unsatisfied with the mundane, the apathetic, the conventional, they always push on to newer worlds,” write Rollo May in The Courage to Create. Artists can become easily upset by the ordinary. Artists always strive for beauty and meaning.

Artists, by their very nature, must challenge preconceived notions and the status quo. Creativity lies in the question of not what is, but what could be. This can cause fear and uneasiness among those who are invested in keeping things the same. So not only does confrontation take between the artist and his perception of the world, but between his art and the world.

This confrontation is not a comfortable process. Nor is it easy. And that’s why those who create or feel compelled to create must be brave and courageous.

In my next post, The Creative Process: requires courage, I will delve deeper into how vital courage actually is to creativity. It’s not just important – it is absolutely essential.

Until next time, farewell, and may your life never cease to be filled with wonder and curiosity.




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