The Spooky Sphere - The Brandegee Blog

Ramblings on Crafting Useable Art (and other things that I find interesting)

The Spooky Sphere
Posted on May 21, 2013

Creativity is a bedeviling subject. But endlessly fascinating. How do you make it happen? How do you keep it under control, from veering off in cockamammy directions that distract or undermine what you’re trying for?

I won’t try for definitive answers, but I do have a few that I live by.

First one.  Since I made a living for several decades as a writer and at the same time did a lot in graphic communications, I’ve always looked for those overlap areas between visual and verbal.  The key features for me relate to purpose and structure.  I always try to start with “what’s this for?  What am I trying for?”  Once settled on that, I look for structure and that’s where the how, the organizing kicks in.

Probably my most important rule, though, deals with mental processing.  Is conscious tenacious step-by-step procedure the best way to go.  Sometimes, sure.  But when you’re dealing with something new that needs a fresh approach and it doesn’t come spontaneously, you better turn the challenge over to your non-conscious mind.  For my money, that’s where the serious action takes place.

With my furniture designs, for example, I sometimes have a vague whisper of an idea and I may not have a clue of where it came from.  I may push it around and test it with drawings, but then bump into frustration or discomfort.  That’s the time to back off; if I’ve wrestled with it, I’ve put the ingredients into my head and need to turn it over to that spooky sphere that operates out of sight.  That’s when that magical human synthesis can happen.

The photo shows how this can work, at least for me.

Cap: The x base is made of log cabin sections and the box is barnboard, all topped with a finished slab of walnut.

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