Creativity / Discipline – both have a symbiotic relationship – I’ve never been skilled at paint by numbers nor coloring books. Staying in the lines was always so limiting, I was creative.
In elementary school, teachers allowed me the privilege to have lousy handwriting, afraid of stifling my creativity. This freedom has proved to be counterproductive.
When I started my career, I had to create lines, lots of lines that overlaid perfectly to separate images in yearbooks. I was forced to conform to the discipline of rules and that was a good thing.
Creativity needs discipline to keep tasks on track, to keep the vision from losing direction and to maintain the artists’ attention.
There are three stages of creativity from my experience:
- The initial Inspiration: I see it, I want to say something about it, this can be in reality, dreams or just completely from imagination. What follows is often varying degrees of time where the image develops.
In my writing, it’s even worse-the story often becomes over a great amount of time and the story tends to explain itself. I am usually only given clues to what may happen.
- First Sketch / Underpainting: I create the underpainting or often a sketch in a notebook. This stage can literally last for years if nothing else shows itself clearly. I have so many notebooks filled and underpaintings hanging on the wall.
- The Final: A shift occurs, suddenly all the images that were not clear find clarity. I believe that with discipline this process can be shorted as attention needs to be focused but this is just a theory.
There is a magical state that occurs in the center of creating and that is when I know where every dab of color is supposed to go, it’s like paint by numbers without the lines. When observing a painting afterwards, there are often lines and highlights that are completely intangible to the artist but that is the magic of completely disappearing into a work.