The Creative Process: is encounter

January 31, 2014 Writing  No comments

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

To create is an act, a verb, if you will. It is not passive, but active and requires participation. Creativity is the process of “bringing something new into being,” (The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People).

Creating is completely depleting and often you reach a point where you don’t think you can continue for another second because what you see in your head is not translating through your words or art.  So, frustrated and weary, you go watch some Netflix or go to the bar to drown your sorrows with some alcohol, and then the next day you get back up and do it again.

Because you’re compelled to – by the encounter.

The encounter is the intersection between the artist’s inner world and the reality of bringing it forth into the world. The encounter is what the artist visualizes in his imagination and the act of producing it into the physical.

Rollo May explains it best. “The poet’s labor is to struggle with the meaninglessness and silence of the world until he can force it to mean; until he can make silence answer and the non-being be.” (emphasis mine)

So whether you’re a painter of canvas or words, or an actor or director, or dancer – there is this image in your mind that evokes certain emotions and precise meaning (which you may or may not yet know) that you must now take from abstract to the actual.

But “to achieve this was, of course, impossible, because what is essentially abstract can never be made concrete without altering it’s essence” (The Courage to Create).

And therein lies the second part of the encounter. Because the act of creating and producing an idea into corporeal form, in fact, alters the essence of the concept. So the end result takes on a form all it’s own because it is the byproduct of what you see in your imagination and your efforts to bring it into existence.

“In a lot of ways it’s a futile task, and the futility is part of the point,” says YA author Bennett Madison.

We artist’s must have a knack for pain and frustration, because the encounter is a struggle, and quite plainly, a pain in the ass. But it is the essence of what it is to create.

So why do we do it? Next time I will discuss how The Creative Process: gives meaning.

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


photo cred: Nikaa

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