Creative Cycle: First Steps into the Dark

17 May

There is so much excitement, so much anticipation, when we have formulated a concept for an image, for a sound or melody.  We want to see it, or to hear it manifest, and to share it.

But we are not there this morning.  We have just taken our first few steps into the dark tunnel where thought is transformed into concrete, physical expression.

Why is this moment, when we begin to execute upon our concept, a step into the tunnel, into the darkness?  It is because we really don’t know exactly how things are going to work out.  There are roadblocks ahead  Technical problems await us.  Miscalculations about the intended effect of the original concept will trouble us, challenge us.  Solutions will often require new learning.  There is far more that is not known than is known at this point about our project, large or small.

So how do we cope with these stresses – the desire to see the completed work, the anticipation of technical problems, aesthetic miscalculations, the tedium of getting our work underway?

Our Composer of Art for Music happens to be at the beginning of a small new project and had some thoughts to share on her approach to these first steps into the dark tunnel.  She has learned that execution of her most successful projects has generally started with some basic organization, ordering of material.  Even mundane ordering of computer files related to the new project has served to focus, to clarify elements of the project for her.  Our Composer is no Paraclete of patience.  Nevertheless, she tries to appreciate how valuable this rather tedious work of classification, ordering, defining elements is to the strength of the final piece.

Sometimes we should see the forest, and not the trees.  And sometimes we should focus very intently on each tree.  Where does that tree belong?  What will its function be?  How can you prepare that tree now to receive special treatment in the endgame of the work?

Take joy in this very early point in your creative process, your creative cycle.  There is great intensity associated with those initial points of transforming concept into concrete.  There is a great opportunity to exist at the very core of your work – at a level that is full of the profundity of internal organization.  It is like the movie where the kids are shrunk down and enabled to travel inside the human body.  We have a great privilege to be creating the inner world of our work.  There is a level of truth hear which elevates the artist in a unique way – which provides for the artist his unique view and understanding of the world around him.

This early point in the creative cycle, of transformation from intellectual concept to concrete application, from thought to physicality, is filled with mystery and the unknown, but also with great revelation – the revelation of the inner workings of Creation, the productive process of the Creator.

Spark on!


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Posted by on May 17, 2012 in creative cycle


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