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  • Chuck Close on Creativity

    I found this great post on Brain Pickings! Chuck Close describes his artistic process, which I'll get to in a sec. 

    I've been challenged lately in my artistic process. I've found inspiration again, but I still don't quite know what to make. It's the whole blank canvas senario that I've never faced before. It's like what do I represent? What belongs in this world?

    My painting professor Lisa Blas once said that when you make art, you are bringing something into this world that has never existed. That's stuck with me as an awe inspiring moment, but with an understanding of being thoughtful about what to create. I find myself questioning whether something should be given life. Should this brand new thing exist? It's a huge philosophical/existential question that seems small, but for me ends up being quite big.

    I start to relate these thoughts to the power of positive thinking and the ever expanding universe. There is always infinte stuff being created in the universe, so resources aren't limited. I should make infinite stuff!!!!! But where do I put all the stuff?

    Chuck Close takes a small approach to this conundrum:

    "See, I think our whole society is much too problem-solving oriented. It is far more interesting to [participate in] ‘problem creation’ … You know, ask yourself an interesting enough question and your attempt to find a tailor-made solution to that question will push you to a place where, pretty soon, you’ll find yourself all by your lonesome — which I think is a more interesting place to be."

    "And the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will — through work — bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great ‘art idea.’ And the belief that process, in a sense, is liberating and that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day. Today, you know what you’ll do, you could be doing what you were doing yesterday, and tomorrow you are gonna do what you did today, and at least for a certain period of time you can just work. If you hang in there, you will get somewhere."

    Create a situation to be solved, and tinker around until you find an answer. It seems so easy, right?