Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Creative Process

Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.

Frank Tibolt
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One of the amazing things to me about being an artist is to see the result. I can read someone's poem, see a picture or hear a piece of music and not know what went into making it. I can appreciate the result. But when I look at my own work and know the steps, the struggle, the doubts, the discoveries, the anguish and delight that brought it into existence, I am impressed if the result is good, but I'm more amazed at the existence of the creative process itself. It is a gift to me to be able to do the kind of work I do and have done all my life.

One draws a line on a piece of paper, picks out a tone on a musical instrument or puts a word down on a page and the famous thousand mile journey has begun with that single step. I do a lot of writing in my head before I approach the keyboard. There's an idea. I let it sit in my mind and draw nourishment from my life, my memories or what I've learned from other writers. Soon it begins to send forth shoots and blossoms. I start putting words down and joining them together, making patterns of thought. A patch of a mental garden begins to take shape. I decide what to put in it, what looks nice there, what is appropriate and what's not.

Then I stop and breathe. The creative process is afoot and I can trust that it is. It will supply me with the ideas I want because I have put down the right soil and nourished it propoerly. I can answer emails, delete spam, go to the market, wash the dishes or even take a nap and when I come back to it it's waiting and ready for me. In the meantime it has grown some more and I will see that when I type the next word.

As an actor getting a new script was like receiving a surprise package or a map to buried treasure. What was a printed book, with words and ideas, bound together by the hand of a playwright soon took on another life as my life was bound up in it. Eventually the book was once again just a book but the work of art was in the action on the stage. That is the alchemy of theatre.

DB - The Vagabond
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WEEKEND PUZZLE

Below are some familiar phrases. Only one of them is legitimate. Which one is it and what is wrong with the others? That is your chore.

EXTRA: You get bonus point if you can think of other illegitimate ones.
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CLOSE PROXIMITY
CRIMINAL INTENT
FALSE PRETENCE
FREE GIFT
OPENING GAMBIT
PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
PIN NUMBER
SPOTLESSLY CLEAN
UNEXPECTED SURPRISE

Good luck
DB
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4 comments:

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

The creative process is amazing. I look forward to the day when I can experiment :o)

pacifica62 said...

I am trying to figure out Mr. Tibolt's quote and can't quite wrap my mind around inspiration seldom generating action. Some people do amazing things and inspire others to follow suit but is that the action that is generating inspiration. Not sure. It is great to see creativity at work because sometimes wonderful things come to be as a result.

Just Bill said...

Dana, print still too to easily read.
If I didn't like you I would cross you off of my google reader.
Now I can't comment as I was going to do since I can't reread the anove to jog my memory.
I Wonder if others have this problem?
Bill

Just Bill said...

Now, I remember one of my comments was to be "Yes,I have always considered you to be creative."
Had six more comments but my recall is lacking.