3 Habits Artists Employ To Invoke A Creative State

3 habits that artists employ to invoke a creative state:

1. Comfort with ambiguity
2. Idea generation
3. Trans-disciplinary research

Ambiguity is an integral part of the artistic process. Standardised cliches of Art are counter-art. The discomfort of not knowing is ambiguity. But an artist embraces the unknown, takes it head-on and brings out new thoughts and ideas from it. Revolutionary ideas can only occur when new questions are raised on established ideas. Question everything. Question the natural world, the medium of your choice, human nature, establishment.

The medium of Art (Film, Paint, Words, Performance) is just a material like drawing material or a bucket of Lego blocks with a potential for ideas within. They are tools to help artists make their ideas manifest. ‘Play’ is a sure-fire way to kick start ideation. Play is essential. Artists play. They either play with materials until ideas manifest or they play with ideas until they realise what medium or material they would need to bring those ideas into reality.

Artists are voracious researchers. They would seek out information and inspiration in all fields of studies: arts, science, philosophies, mathematics, politics, legal systems etc. They would research anything. Bizarre things. They would do anything that furthers their thinking. This is called trans-disciplinary research, a research that serves curiosity. Art is not about discrete disciplines but rather about multiple disciplines being in service to ideas. Don’t kill the ideas.

PS. Few advise/criticism I have got so far in general:
a. You must ‘spoon-feed’ your audience and not keep anything open-ended. (Refer Point No. 1. Note: The word ‘spoon-feed’ was actually used.)

b. You have put limitations on yourself by making a film with reverse chronology and no dialogue. (Refer Point No. 2)

c. You are pretentious. (Refer Point No. 3 and start doing the same to reduce your own ignorance.)

This article is written by me based on a lecture by Cindy Foley, Deputy Director, Columbus Museum Of Art, Ohio.

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