THIS IS ME, NIL INGLIS
1. The million-dollar question: INSPIRATION
Inspiration is that split-second where there's motive to engage in the creative act. The idea appears and we start to get excited, we then want to get going.
You and I both know it is not as ideal as it sounds, and that it can be difficult to gather ideas that inspire us to create.
In my case, I seek to be open to inspiration at all times. To, when it presents itself, take it as an absolute and act on it immediately.
I say yes to most of the ideas I get, that's how I keep 'em flowing.
Also, it is true that many times the decision to create precedes the idea and inspiration itself, so I compel myself to come up with something and to try new things.
2. Focus on good, not on perfect
By creating an expectation about our creative output we are actually limiting ourselves to real possibilities which often may take us to places that surpass our expectations.
For this reason, when we concentrate on perfect we often hesitate, and end up f*ing up and feeling sory for ourselves.
When we concentrate on good, meaning something we can do, yet presents a creative challenge and the possibility to learn, we loosen up, feel more confident, and make better work.
3. No rubber = no mistakes
Although it may seem contradictory or too simplified,
this is something I use extensively, especially when I draw.
If you can't go back and do it again, meaning that you can't make a mistake, you will build confidence in your immediate ability to produce the results you want.
On the contrary case, you may end up re-drawing it, re-writing it, re-making it endlessly without a clear way out: you get stuck.
4. Fast and flowing
Perhaps your creative endeavour requires a slow, patient approach, but even so, when you accustom yourself to work fast and flowing, you connect more dots.
5. No thinking / Intuitive approach
I believe, because of my own experience, that the true creative feeling is not conscious in the usual sense: it's unconscious, you're in "the Zone".
That is why I advocate for a Non-thinking manner of creative act. In other words, I see that thought often kills execution, and that once you have the Idea, manifest it and don't think twice.
The contrary to conscious thought in this case is intuition, which I associate much more deeply with creativity. Intuition is like a subtle whisper of the wind, that, even not knowing how or why makes you take a decision and a certain path. That Is the whisper of creativity.
6. Try new things
I know what you're thinking, but oftentimes I have found myself repeating the same processes over and over again, even when creating.
This tendency produces stagnation and goes against the stride of creative energy.
This is why I'm telling you now to try new things: new techniques, new mediums, a new instrument, a new genre, a different objective, a different message, a different reference.
When you feel yourself getting stuck on that old rut, it's time to get creative.
7. Gather inspiration + copy
If you're a musician, listen to new music. If you're a writer, read new writings.
As art isn't created in a vacuum, we must keep re-invigorating our relationship to the work that Inspires us, which will broaden our sensitivity and help us create new and better work.
Copying work that inspires us is also a good way of integrating it. In the case of music, or writing, we may study a certain piece, listen for certain patterns, try re-creating it in our own voice, etc.
8. Set limits and exercises to get you going
If you create a self-imposed limitation, it may help in order to concentrate on a different aspect of creating, or simply to come up with a different solution.
Try establishing the colour palette before painting the picture, the number of words before writing a poem...
Also, these challenges and exercises may be helpful to get you going into the creative flow.
9. Don't judge what you can create by what you've created before
This is pretty simple: if you know you can draw faces, or make a certain type of song or poem, you will most likely stick to it.
Also, if we assume we are only so or so skilled in an activity, we will likely not venture into things we consider out of our reach.
That is why we mustn't judge, and remain open to new and better creative challenges.
10. Have fun!
I can assure you that if you dread thinking about the creative task you will encounter that feeling as you create.
But, if we look deeply, we find that the true creative energy is when we are wholly engaged in the creative act, possessed by inspiration, and zestful beyond belief.
We are having fun. So, that is the energy we want to create and re-create when we create. :)
Last weekend I made my first real trip alone, the journey was to go to Madrid for 3 days, go to the Prado Museum as well as the Thyssen and the Reina Sofia, and most importantly to go to the Download Festival to experience the Tool concert.
I must say that this experience has been a turning point in my life, for several reasons.
Firstly, let me qualify that Tool is my favourite band, period, and that seeing them on stage and experiencing their music live was a privilege and an honour.
You can see my affinity to Tool's music in my own, for example:
Secondly, visiting the Prado has changed the way I think about art.
The Prado is THE museum in Spain, as we all know, and I can't say it ha fallen one inch short of that premise in my opinion.
As I walked the long hallways, passing by many people and fellow art lovers, sucking it all in; the light, the colours, the atmosphere, the art, It was clear to me I was in the right place, and that this was a place for me.
I kept gasping over and over again as I turned each corner.
Velazquez, Rembrandt, Ribera, el Greco, Goya, Titian, and so many others.
There was mastery which goes quite unparalleled even to this day.
Each canvas told a story, and no matter their size (although many were massive), they were powerful, very powerful.
It is interesting to note the different approach from the art of nowadays, mainly that back then the artist worked his craft and created his art with extreme dedication and care, which shows in the work. Nowadays art is quicker, seeks to surprise and stun, looks endlessly for the new, and generally art is a lifestyle, not only an activity.
Many more dichotomies could be extrapolated, and experiencing the contrast helps in learning the way of it all.
It is truly hard to tell whether back then artists and art was more in tune with the essence, the magic, the mystery, the creative potential and purpose, than we are now.
As I searched for art that spoke to me, trying to find artworks that "clicked" and resonated with me, I made some quick sketches. Here are the drawings I made while in the Museums in order of creation:
Face of ancient Roman Dionysus and Goya's Saturn
Copy of Laocoon, guard and men from Velazquez's la Fragua de Vulcano
José de Ribera's Crist from The Holy Trinity and Ixión.
Rembrandt's Self Portrait as the Apostle Paul
2 different artworks by Rubens
Greek Mask and one of the 2 figures of Ribera's Ixión.
José de Ribera's Ticio
Head of Apollo in Velazquez's La Fragua de Vulcano
Detail of the Martyrdom of Saint Felipe, by Ribera
Detail of Bacchus in Velazquez's Los Borrachos
Portrait of a Man by Velazquez
Christ by Bernini
Portrait of H.H.Thyssen by Lucian Freud
Dionysian scene with Minotaur by Picasso
Minotaur caressing girl's hand with frown by Picasso
Maternity by Picasso
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