Wednesday, January 30, 2008



"Creativity is a lot like happiness. It shows up when you're thinking about something else."

I saw this book in Michael's last week. I didn't buy it. Kinda wish I would've but I will later when I'm actually ready to move on to something besides what I'm doing now (which is just doodling basic shapes and simple drawings of everyday objects). Keys To Drawing With Imagination by Bert Dodson looked so interesting though that I finally googled it so I could read more about it and see some of the pages. has the introduction pages which I'd recommend reading even if you have no desire to get the book or ever learn more about drawing. Below is one paragraph from the introduction...

"Imagine you are sitting in a room with your sketchbook in hand. You have an urgent desire to create. Your pencil is poised. Your energy is focused. You are determined. But nothing happens. Why? Because wanting to be creative is all about you. It is a goal, not an action. Goals are about the future. Actions are about the present. Try picturing yourself differently. You have a definite project in mind. For instance, you might try combining two of your previous sketches into a single drawing. Now you have a specific task. While the rules may be simple, the possibilities are vast. The project is no longer about you but about solving a problem. Your creativity comes alive in the present instead of being stalled in the future."

I think he reveals my biggest obstacle in that one paragraph -- not only in art and creativity but in life. Heck, maybe it's everyone's biggest problem. A line from a Matchbox 20 song comes to mind... "
It's me, yeah well I can't get myself to go away." If we can just get over ourselves and get out of the way maybe something significant can be created or revealed through our lives. It's not all about me and I'd like not to take myself so seriously.

It is so true in so many applications, not just drawing. I think back to times of creativity and agree that they have been most productive when the focus was on solving the problem or completing a specific task rather than on my desire to be creative or come up with creative ideas (or my frustration in my own inabilities). Besides this nugget of a paragraph there are at least eight principles of creativity explained in the two introductory pages of this book. Very simple but very wise principles.


Paula Scott said...

Thanks! I will definitely check it out. His words ring so true!

Regina said...

Good posting. It contains a lesson that it's taken me a long time to learn: get the heck out of the way and let the piece become what it wants to be. Man, that's hard! I'm such a "planner" that it's taken me about 5 yrs to learn. Check out my blog today on "zentangles" - it just might be of interest to you along the lines of your post.