Monday, April 23, 2012

Do you have problems finishing things? My summation of an aspect of the creative process.

Sorry for the delay in posting but I am in the process of getting more paintings together to send out and working on more avenues for writing poetry and showcasing painting. Let' start this blog out with a question as I want feedback from followers and would be followers-If you are creative than I am asking about creative projects and if not I am asking about your processes on hobbies or home projects. Here is the question, Do you tend to start multiple tasks simultaneously and if so why do you think? Secondly are you happy with the progress in finishing multiple projects?

I will explain my process and the way the creative process tends to ebb and flow for me. I think that often the inspiration is often either beyond the skill level or the inspiration is not strong or clear enough to be able to finish the image in the expected time. I will start multiple paintings, each are very different and have distinct moods, I will work through cycling between up to ten paintings at the same time in hour segments on each-it is almost as if in an hour I get too close to the image and can no longer see past the details. Each time I start on a new hour with a new image I have a new perspective and problems in composition or color seem to be more clear.

Another reason for this cycling through multiple paintings is the fact that if I am in a rainy day mood, I can't paint a sunny day and vice versa. I can't usually paint because I feel like painting, the feeling is there or it's not and the unseen cues for the next step in the painting often is completely vague. A process that has helped me get better at continuing a painting past the initial inspiration is with teaching-I believe I have learned more discipline because regardless if the thought or next step is vague you have to work through the awkwardness.

A problem I have with painting multiple works is the fact that some don't get finished for years, which could be a good or bad thing-either the inspiration grows and becomes something different or a weaker inspiration strengthens over time. I have recently begun pastel images of ideas I have sketched out ten years earlier and only now have either gotten brave enough to work through the doubt or have finally solidified the image well enough to commence to painting.

I usually paint from memory, I assist that vision with multiple pictures for details but much of the image comes from memory and depending on the day, the vision grows from crystal clear to extremely vague.
If I am in good form, the colors and the composition tend to create themselves and I tend to just be the vehicle for the image that is already pretty much created in my mind.

I am working on several paintings right now and much of them are very different than previous works, the subject matter is city images, rainy evenings, mixing the water and night sky together in an urban setting. I'm excited about getting these out very soon. I will blog about the process and how I finally decided that they were finished and actually signed a finished work-one can dream-I hope I can keep the inspiration going and finish them this year. I guess we'll see. I hope some of you send some comments and I could have more insight to the process of completing something.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Community-it's where we began and where we're going

Community is something that is innate in our culture. With the rise of the web and the increasing state of anonymity the web offers, we have grown further away from our natural propensity. Community used to be the neighborhood, where people would raise their children, live their lives and die in the same neighborhood where they were raised. Newspapers were necessary to bring us just a glimpse of the world outside the microcosm of the community. Now with a trend of job hopping and the transient nature of people today we tend to not have the roots in a given neighborhood, news isn't just available-we are bombarded by multiple mediums on a daily basis and the community has become a global phenomenon where no one knows everyone but we all know small aspects of everyone's life depending on personal interests and business priorities shared across a global scale.

How do we get to know this community when it tends to be overwhelming and how do we get to know customers without bombarding them with the same advertising we have all come to loathe? A community which we see at a coffee shop has become the atrophied muscle-we know it's integral to our nature but we're not quite sure how. When people go to a coffee shop where we all should socialize we use our laptops and cell phones that become a way to avoid social contact. Customers and people in general like to be seen as people not numbers and the state of our electronic age has calloused much of our reflex to talk with each other but the underlying need still persists. Customers need to know that the business isn't selling to them, people we connect with on the web need to know that there is a connection and their needs and interest mean more than a name on a database or information for future advertising.

The act of creating a community does not create a store front, it creates a place where people can connect with like people with similar interests that can together find a common need that might bring them to a storefront when the need arises. Brand awareness and mind share is what the purpose of the connection and not just the traditional sharing of marketing information as previously intended. An awareness grows that will slowly spread to others with similar interests-now we have a neighborhood that has grown to include strangers that might not even know us by our appearance but knows our interests and trusts our opinion. This trust is not something that can be created quickly nor faked through advertising campaigns that seek to capture the name and info and ignore the needs and interests of the customer.

I have recently created a website, what I have learned in the process is that first you send out the word about what is new and at first, friends will show interest but the interest is short term and quickly the response lingers to glances and an ocasional like. What creates the buzz is the constant flow of new information and activity but also through the engaging of multiple people who have the same interests.
What starts out with minor interest slowly becomes one person sending an article to another person or posting something on their website-the name and recognition of the information slowly markets itself.

A community can't be faked, it is as honest and natural as the neighborhood. We all desire to be connected and we all strive to be heard-todays' electronic neighborhood enlarges the scope of our community but the same rules of being genuine, honest and straightforward hasn't changed-no one likes to be sold or advertised to-we want to belong to a group that we can trust and feel our interests are a priority-welcome to the neighborhood.