Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Creative Process

Did you ever get an idea in your head that sounded so good you were compelled to pursue it? Even if you hadn't fleshed out the details? I think that's what lead to yesterday's post regarding the vlog. By your overwhelming consensus, it shall remain on the drawing board. For now. I reserve the right to change my mind at some point in the future. It's my blog, dammit.

I have often felt overly creative. Let me be clear, though. Just because someone feels artistic doesn't mean they should make art. Or if they do make art, it doesn't mean anyone would like it. Or care. Most good artists I know act like they could care less if anyone "gets it," but my guess is that art is conceived, planned and executed for the sole purpose of having someone look at it and have a reaction. It could be joy or revulsion, but it's a reaction. If you discover art after someone dies, it's only because they were too embarrassed to put it out there for the public or that "it wasn't ready yet."

My episodes of creativity come in powerful waves. It's almost always associated with stress. I used to write a lot of music. I did my best stuff in school when I was avoiding something else, like studying for my biochemistry final. When it hits me, it's a compulsion. I must take action. Thanks to a suggestion from newly minted novelist John Hartness, I got turned on to Evernote so I can quickly expunge what's in my brain to ruminate on later. I have an entire album ready to be written on that site. I think there's a short story or two as well.

Let me give you one insight to my level of compulsion. When I was running a lot in Germany, I became obsessed with the idea that I had the perfect television commercial to sell running shoes. I would lay awake at night because it was too good to not share. It wasn't that I wanted to be compensated - I just had to let someone know. It's almost embarrassing now, but I started calling around to Nike, Adidas, New Balance and anyone else I could think of. No one would take my call. I eventually contacted a nice woman at Nike who politely told me they had several ad agencies who handle their advertising and perhaps I should share my idea with them. I spelled it out to her in an email anyway. After it was out there and in the hands of the company, I calmed down a little, and eventually I was able to think about other things. But it wasn't a quick or easy process.

I'd love to tell you something cool like they stole my idea and now are making billions, but it isn't really true. The idea revolved around a voice in the head of a runner telling them they weren't good enough and they should just give up, but the runner kept driving on, running even harder with each admonition. I had the whole thing filmed out. I even had the perfect location to film it in Germany. It seems silly now, but there it is.

I may never make a video blog, but I love the ideas that are springing into my head when I think about it. Of course, this rush of creativity is due to increasing stress levels (complete with a cold sore on my lip!), but that's for a different blog post all together.

1 comment:

Otis said...

When we reach Vegas in December, bring this up again. It's too long a discussion for blog comments, but perfect for a dinner, or better yet, a bar.