I am a creative, I have been this way since I was eight or ten years of age. If I am not using my time being creative in one of the mediums that I work in or at least trying to be creative I am not myself. If I have do things that I see no value in for extended periods of time, I feel like I am just wasting time and I get the grumps, the black dog which if left untreated turns into despair…
I have no idea why I am the way I am – does anyone? There are a few generations of creatives in our family so maybe it is genetic. My father was a classical musician but WWII put an end to his creative vocation so between what we now know as traumatic stress disorder physical injuries and disease caused by war his creative need was killed off, almost. There are grand parents and great uncles who were painters and architects and my daughter has the same gene…
It can be something of a curse because it appears to acquaintances that as a creative that you are inherently selfish being so involved with what you are doing that you have no time for others. This often can’t be helped but no one is perfect, are they? I have unintentionally lost many non creative friends because of this. but the creatives that I know silently understand what is going on and the freidship is all the stronger for it. Creatives also have to put up with a lot dross from society that does not understand them but society as a whole would be an awful place to live with out the ideas and ultimately the products of the creatives. More today than any other time in human history its the creatives that support the economy. Apple the largest company on the planet has gotten to where it is absolutely on the back of the creative think Jonathan Ive, yes it was Steve Job’s vision and dynamic that provided the direction but it was Jonathan Ive that delivered the appealing forms of the product…
At the root of my creative force is this profound interest in the elemental effects of shape, colour, texture on each other has held a fascination for me since that afore mentioned early age. In UK art schools of the pre Thatcher era basic design as it was called, was a core subject of most fine art and design courses. Basic design had its roots in the solid fundamental disciplines of the Bauhaus, combined with drawing and elective craft skills it formed a two year platform on which to start an art and or design education. In most instances the student then specialized into one or two subject areas for a further three years for the learning of knowledge and development of skills.
I never forgot the simple joy and satisfaction of collage and photo montage, with bits of coloured cellophane, paper, card and magazine cuttings. These exercises were in many ways small works of art in themselves but more than that they helped to train the eye as did drawing, they allowed value and meaning to evolve. They assisted the participant in defining his or her own visual language. Such exercises developed the selectiveness that is required to create a personal interpretation for his or her own creative output. For the longest time I was in search of the ‘original’. For quite some years it became an obsession so very little of any substance was acheived. My output was often created and then scrapped as I thought it too much like this or that, it was a very frustrating time.
It was probably a collection of the collages of Kurt Schwitters that convinced me that even a spent bus ticket can offer visual art value, satisfaction and provocation for the viewer. Its the selection and arrangement of the elements that can provide delight. To me it really does not matter how this is achieved be it through collage, paint or a camera. Many of my photographs come straight out of the camera, some are manipulated in photoshop or painter, some are shot on film and scanned they are all the things that I see and excite me visually, its basic design! And eyes are constantly in training.
Favorite books on the subject:
Basic design the dynamics of visual form. Maurice de Sausmarez
Principles of Two Dimensional Design. Wucius Wong
The nature of design. David Pye