Lizard King read an interesting piece in Time magazine a few years back. The article was about the decisionmaking process. The bit that stuck was the notion that given two or more reasonable choices, we will ultimately feel good about the decision we made. We will ultimately feel we made the “right” decision. This phenomenon may offer some comfort and encouragement to the artistic type. There seems to be a bit of obsessiveness built into the artistic personality – probably a necessary component to achieve the kind of drive needed to finish creative work, but not a helpful trait when it comes to taking definite stands.
An art photography posting at the www.audiosparksforart.com website proves instructive with respect to this issue of artistic decisionmaking. In Shelley Neff’s “downtown train” she apparently aimed at an abstraction of her Amtrak train station waiting room subject. Her approach to achieve that abstraction involved decisions about camera placement and angle.
Ultimately, Shelley achieved an interesting surrealistic quality through radical closeup and tilt. Is this exactly the abstraction Shelley had in mind? Possibly not. But in retrospect, the choice feels right. The work has taken on a life, makes an effective impact.
Likewise with composer psychotropic circle’s musical contribution to the presentation. Perhaps his goal was to resonate the somewhat disorienting effect of Shelley’s camera shot. The composer’s use of distinct tones – piano, woodblock, shaker, vibraslap, lo bongo, clave, and a distant animal call, all sounding disparately, all introduced and withdrawn sporadically, does ultimately highlite the off-kilter quality of the image. Exactly what the composer had in mind? Possibly not. But reasonable choices yielded effective results.
This art creation business is a partnership. Have you heard the expression? “Do your best. Let G-d do the rest.” So it is with our creative process. Conceive reasonable alternatives. Make your choice. Look forward to the inevitable surprise in the result, but generally also, to the satisfaction of another successful creation.