Creative Process: When a monster emerges

12 Sep

Do you know that great old black and white horror flick “Frankenstein”?  Well – Dr. Frankenstein really had the best of intentions.  He sought to put together a human in the lab.  Not so different than modern day cloning in some ways.  You gather up the best parts, screw them all together, and voila! un homme.

Unfortunately, during the final assembly phase, Dr. Frankenstein’s faithful assistant reached for the wrong brain.  Instead of that Harvard man’s cranium, he nabbed that of the ex-con.  Well – the result was less than spectacular – as Frankenstein’s noble creation turned out to be an unstable monster.

Perhaps, we could postively spin the moral implications of Shelly’s tale.  First off, the whole notion that we have full control over anything – well, you might consider tossing that out the window.  Even as we plan carefully how to execute our well considered vision and concept, we are always working somewhat in the dark.  Our emotions are subtly directing our decision making.  Our environment is subtly or not so subtly inspiring or frustrating.  Our physical resources, internal and external, are not perfectly stable – quality waxes and wanes.

And in the end, yes – perhaps we end up with a “monster” – something very unlike our original conception. On the other hand, if we stay aware, open and accepting to the possibility that something else, either slightly or radically different from what we had envisioned, is emerging – if we embrace the unpredictable in the evolution of our work – we sometimes discover in the end that something startling, fresh, unexpected and excellent has emerged.  Embracing this fact of our inability to control the progress and direction of our work fully, for some, is a recognition that we are not alone in our creative process – rather we are in a partnership with the Creator.  Regardless of your position on that – cultivating an ability to flow with your work – to be open to a left hand turn when you thought you were turning right – may fill your creative life with a greater richness and sense of wonder.  Each day, through our work, the Universe has new Wisdom to share with us, in our unique roles as artists in the world.

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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in creative process


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