Monday, 21 January 2013

Creativity, Lateral thought, and Freud, OH MY! - Learning Journal part 1

(I've decided to finally upload this draft. It's far from complete, but it gives an impression of where I want to progress this year. I will update it and write more when I see it's the right time to do so. So if you're a fan of Ralph words, keep an eye out. You might like where this is going.)

I started writing this whole thing on the 10th October just to put things into perspective...

"Creativity is a rational response to different forms of stimulation."

 - Gerald said that in his lecture, but he could have been quoting another source... So I really don't know.. but it's relevant to what I'm about to talk about.

So it wasn't until starting the MA Animation course a couple of weeks back that I really began thinking about what 'creativity' is and where it comes from. Gerald Emmanuel (my course tutor) held a truly inspiring and motivating lecture on how 'creativity' is not something you're born with, or some sort of inherited blood right, but 'lateral' thought, a brainwave that anybody can conceive. HALLELUJAH!!

A dramatisation of my epiphany...

Though that may not be correct, I find it so damn reassuring. Art almost feels conquerable now. Of course it must help somewhat being nurtured within a creative and expressive environment, being exposed to all sorts of films and arts (stimuli) as a kid and such, that must be one reason why artistic fathers spawn artistic sons, but yeah I find thinking of 'creativity' simply as a mindset, that every person is capable of channeling, particularly comforting. It makes me feel more confident and determined to pick up a pencil and amount to something half decent.

I plan to check out Edward De Bono's book that covers 'lateral thinking'. I'm sure it will answer some of the questions and thoughts that follow this entry. I'll probably update paragraph things here and there with quotes to just strengthen my case etc.

I share long winded discussions about the creative process with a friend of mine. They are really awesome and really insightful and I always learn something new from them. It's like a meditative, self-reflective discussion for hours about why things are, and other philosophical mumbo jumbo. These talks often answer question that I've never noticed plaguing my mind. One thing we've chattered about quite recently is where ideas come from. They certainly don't come from birds and bees. well... most of them. I know everybody is different but I think my friend and myself share a theory, and at the risk of sounding idiotic, here it is:

Ideas sort of emerge from a very dark corner of the subconscious mind. They are a fixed, seemingly original, compilation of stimuli that leak into our conscious mind, often for me appearing as if out of nowhere, like some freak storm. Ideas take all sorts of shapes, but more often than not mine flow out from my subconscious in the form of colours and moods.

On researching the subconscious mind I found some interesting views from Sigmund Freud.

"The mind is like an iceberg, it floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water."

"The unconscious is the true psychical reality; in its innermost nature it is as much unknown to us as the reality of the external world, and it is as incompletely presented by the data of consciousness as is the external world by the communications of our sense organs."

"The most complicated achievements of thought are possible without the assistance of consciousness."


Here's a diagram of how I imagine most of my ideas are generated. I do come up with other ideas in a ton of other ways, but this process of sorts seems to be the most natural process for me.

So I take pride in the fact that I watch a lot of films and I try my damned to listen to a broad variety of music. These stimuli affect me without me knowing it. They enter my subliminal mind and wreak havoc in there, evolving and distorting all about the place, before entering my conscious as a single image of colour that tends to summarise a single feeling or an emotion I bottle deep down. I  take this vision in my head and do everything I can to put it down on paper in coherent pictures (and sometimes words) without losing a single drop of it. It always, and I mean ALWAYS turns into a bastardised clone of what I first discovered in my head. A good metaphor for this all so far would be that my creative mind is like a whiskey distillery, wherein every creative process/phase (filtration) dilutes from the original mental picture (the organic grain). It's not necessarily a bad thing (whiskey is good), but often I wish I could draw out the vision in my mind exactly as it was, pure and undisturbed. But this never happens. I sometimes get close, but more often than not, through attempting to draw the vision I make errors that I then become attached to, or distracted by, and that distort me from my original intention. The errors lead you in a different direction, taking you some place that feels the farthest it could be from where it should be. But like I said, whisky is good.

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