Saturday, October 23, 2010

Planned or Spontaneous - revisited...

I thought I would return to the question of planned vs. spontaneous I brought up two weeks ago because it's a topic I discussed with a friend at the Seaside Games...

She is a beautiful harpist and singer and I offered to help her with her booth while she was performing on stage. We have had some great conversations about our hopes to launch our creative businesses. We were discussing the idea of planned vs.spontaneous art making since I had read the book "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell and he wrote some interesting things about spontaneity that resonated with me...

The library copy of "Blink" I read this summer - hooray for libraries!

Mr. Gladwell was writing about the rules of engagement for improvisation (improv) artists and the fact that "spontaneity isn't random". It's a culmination of much rehearsal (or practice) and by following a set of rules that everyone agrees to. Essentially, you can create "the conditions for successful spontaneity"*.
My friend had to agree with this concept. She spoke of how some musicians can be very well trained and as a result have the ability to create work "spontaneously", in the spur of the moment. I talked about my training as a dancer and my ability to improvise dances because of that training and we both believe that training does help to foster spontaneity in creative work.

It seems that the comments I received reflect both planning and spontaneity in creating. Tinniegirl wrote:

"I sit it both camps with both blogging and art making. Sometimes I'm full of spontaneity with my writing and painting, but there's other times I have to be organised and plan to make things happen."

I can relate to that especially since I had to do some planning to insure that I had blog posts ready for my trip to Ventura knowing that I wouldn't have access or time to use a good computer.

Mel's response was also one I could relate to:

"Hmmm, interesting question. I nearly always think through my project or post in advance, so I guess it's planned - but then when I start creating or typing, it tends to evolve, making it spontaneous!"

As a seamstress, a lot of planning goes into creating a garment. A pattern must be first be drafted (unless you are using a store bought pattern, which does save time!) then the pattern must be cut which might entail some planning to get the most out of the fabric. Then the garment must be sewed together...not much room for spontaneity!

But when I work on collage, I may have an idea in mind as a starting point and then it may change as I play with the elements, making it more spontaneous and in-the-moment...

Kathryn's comment was great as it points out that some creative disciplines have more leeway for spontaneity than others:

"my drawings and paintings are almost always planned out...my collages never. That's why the collages can be more fun at times. But for me it's the process..."

Ahhhh! there it is - what creating is really all about. The Process...

These are in the process of becoming...
...collage postcards like these...These will be listed in my etsy shop next week...

I have to say that I LOVE The Process because that is where the learning takes place, though it can often be difficult or frustrating but the finished results are rewarding and make it all worthwhile...

more postcards with a skirt theme - these were fun to make and I may make more!

I think the thing to remember is that practicing our art discipline is an important part of the Journey of creating that we must travel...

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I hope you are enjoying the process of your creativity today!


Remember there is a giveaway happening - go here to leave your comment! You have until 5pm Sunday October 24!


* - quote can be found on page 117

2 comments:

Amelia said...

this is really interesting and has made me stop and think. I think there is something about being 'practiced' and well versed in something so that when you do come to do something spontaneous in that area, your mind does know through travelling down that path often.

When I sit to write blog posts I have a vague idea that wafts around for a few days and then suddenly things come pouring out and maybe it wasn't the post I thought it was going to be. I find this harder with art though, I have to be far more considered. Very interesting indeed! :)

Amelia.x

humel said...

It gave me such a warm feeling to see myself quoted on your blog!! You always have such interesting and thought-provoking posts, and I love that you revisit some of your 'big thoughts' to show how your opinions and ideas are developing xx