I the other day I wrote a short article titled Discipline as A support System for Art and Creativity. A full reading can be found when you click on the link. In the article I highlighted that Art needs discipline and commitment for it to see the light of day. I also noted that the term Discipline draws out feelings and expressions of gruel some labor and bittersweet experiences. For discipline to be bearable and have a spice of grace it needs the unassuming jab of Value – this is what this article is about.
Why – The Question of Purpose
In the creation of art we are bound to experience routines and repetitiveness as we administer strokes of lead on a paper, or gnaw away shavings of wood to make a sculpture. Monotony can be frustrating if there is no purpose. The Why of Art justifies the beauty that monotony of process. But the Why question is also answers to Value. There is the premeditated Value by the artist in the creation of Art that sustains the artist in the creation journey to produce the second expression of Value when the piece in question is finished. Both forms of value are expressions of Why the created Art is valuable in the first place, because Art is crucially interpretive. The Value you place in the creation journey is what makes the Discipline needed to create it bearable. Art making becomes cumbersome when we detach the value of art from the process of making it.
Attention – A Rare Commodity
What value does it attaches to the artistic journey a focal point. This focal point is known by one very simple word – Attention. Attention is said to be rare in the information age. When we are bombarded daily with floods of data we are bound to lose concentration and altogether be undiscerning of prioritizing which information is important and valuable. But apart from the attention to choose data there is also the attention to create data or good and valuable art. We have been reconfigured to be instant creatures and reflection is becoming quickly a dying art. We take milliseconds with the important and end up having bits and pieces of uncoordinated memes. We lack the patience of consuming wholesome value that impatience has extended to the ethic that supports art creation. Attention is the nerve to redevelop the faculties of reflection, pause, pondering and the meditative discipline of the formation of Art. Poor art is a glaring symptom of attention deficiency.
The Creative Itch
There seems to be two itches of Art and art creation. There is the itch of the idea of art – this is where an idea drops into our mind or heart and itches us to notice its arrival and concept. That itch is revelatory and sublime. There is the other itch of Art and this one is Painful. I am yet to answer why most impacting Art has a flavor of pain in it. That pain is the itch of creating. The creative itch as I am calling it can be a constructive motivator or a distraction dependent on our perspective of it. This itch can profitably tune us to the making process. It reminds us that something is unfinished or still unrefined. It drives us to a sense of mastery and purity because the result of good art is not pain free. We tag along this itch because we like Jean Paul Satre said are Knights for the masses. When we feel pain we write or make art so that the reader or audience may be saved. If we do not feel pain we have been numbed to the deep needs of the audience. When we write or create art we feel better and are eased progressively until the piece is finished, then we sit down to wait for another artistic assault and are burdened to produce the next piece again.
The Translation of Value
So what are the bare knuckles of translation of value what are the visible easy steps of Value?
Simple Plan – the idea of art may be spontaneous but the execution of art needs a simple plan. I insist on simple plan because the sophistry that comes with execution comes from a path that can be followed. A simple plan is the skeleton of upon which the flesh of art can be built. Draft a simple plan.
Routine – from the simple plan create a routine. A routine is a way of constraining time to work for you. Time needs to be slaved for the benefit of the production of art. But time cannot be framed until it is apportioned. The routine need not be burdensome. A routine is segments of time in a apportioned to a task of creation in a day, munch able ones for that matter. The secret of routine is consistency.
Good Old Note Book – the notebook is an external receptacle of ideation. The notebook makes the idea visible to is the attempt to attach logic and frame to abstractness. When an idea pops up in your mind it is subject to memory. When you write it down you make its imprint more emphatic. But the power of the notebook is the ability to wander into the path of the permutations of the idea or art in question.
Self – Governance – self-governance is equivalent to self-discipline. It is the tempering of self to be subject and proper filter of the art that needs to see the light of day. Self-governance is not diplomatic it is a little harsh. It bridles the skill, files the mind, beats the body and tunes the imagination. This is one of the glaring missing ingredient in many creators.
Accountability – art creation can be a solitary journey. But I would adjure you to find someone apart from your audience who can be benevolent marshal that tinkers you back in line when you ‘stray’ into the lane of distractive leisure. Somebody who would knows when you are mistaking excuses for reasons. Somebody who lends you the respectable nudge to make art however that respect comes to your aid.
Last modified: November 16, 2019