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Restraint in Art and Life

December 19th, 2008

So I have this idea, and it involves incorporating art into your everyday lifestyle, as opposed to the other way around where you build your lifestyle to make room for art.  I guess that means throwing out your preconceived notions about the creative process and letting the circumstances of your existence dictate the details like when, where, for how long, what materials to use, etc. It’s not my natural line of thought, but over the years I’ve come to realize that you can’t discipline creativity.  It’s best to approach the creative process on it’s terms, not yours.  So many tracks for Exits + Obstacles, I would run my wheels into the ground working on them only to find that the song was uninspired to begin with.

So with a new approach to the division between art and life, I’m beginning to exercise my visual muscles again.  I decided on one simple rule as I create new pieces:  whatever you do, limit it.  If I decide I like newsprint, make one drawing and put it away.  If one photo looks really cool photocopied, it doesn’t mean I should gather ten of them and then go to Kinko’s.  My new idea is restraint.  When you really like something, it’s best to take a few steps back from it whenever you can.  Let it breathe and be itself.  Anytime you try to overuse something, it’ll become something it’s not.  Of course, I’m not just talking about art here!

Anyway, there’s theory and practice.  We’ll see where the line is drawn on that one.  There’ll be a running set of images on my Flickr page as this progresses.