A "Topographic Map of the Creative Process", accompanied by our collective written directions for locating "The Stream"
First, Zoom out to 10,000 ft, clear the mind, free float back to Earth, pick a direction, walk.
Now, allow an idea to form in your mind like a swarm of bees coalescing into a chocolate ganache coated dream sweater. Try it on over and over, but there's no mirror, so don't worry if it actually fits. Somewhere an alarm goes off, so either toss the idea into the recycling or decide to Sisyphus the thing until it's up over the top of the hill and into reality.
Whether this is your first voyage or your 100th, always see yourself as a breeder of curiosities. These manifestations inhabit a ‘between’ territory: familiar and alien, pretty and ugly, natural and synthetic, flat and dimensional. When these ingredients actively fertilize one another, colorful, bulbous, pod-like forms are born, expanding and pulsing with life, their bodies seeming to mutate and spread. Art is alive.
If you still haven't left your seat, begin by identifying what you've been inspired by most recently and then ask yourself "why". Your best path is within that 'why' phase, somewhere. Just venture down every rabbit hole that presents itself to you. These trains of thought tend to merge at different points until an idea is born!
Now, start with three ideas and throw two away. Imagine yourself describing the concept to someone else. What expressions would they make? Use every second of someone’s attention while you have it.
On any creative journey, always always always remember to bring AMAP:
Go outside to look inside, fully present, open to fully receive limitless teachings from your surroundings, see the detail in everything, daydream, wander, wonder.
Receive and acknowledge what is in front of you, visualize, explore, interrelate, seek gratitude, balance, connection, nourishment, high vibrations, manifest.
See barriers as opportunities, clear resistance, commit to an unwavering desire for success, ask questions, assess influence and impact, explicate.
Initiate, collaborate, elucidate, consider presentation and audience, assess, improve, replicate.
Next, think it, dream it, discuss it, plan it, make it, fix it, post it, share it, live it, BE IT.
Remember: you had feelings that had no where else to go and so this had to be that.
Look... Sometimes you might not feel like artist. You may rarely start with "what you want to say". It is in fact totally OK to instead begin by responding to someone else's voice. You may find more potential in boundaries and constraints that you can push and shove against instead of open spaces that give you nothing to clash with. Just for fun, today, don't look at the act of creating as taking place in the stillness of the individual, but rather as a wild mosh pit in an old abandoned gas station with people looking to challenge and collaborate with one another.
Know that your work depends on others. Without the others, nothing of yours could be made. You do not direct, you collaborate. Artists should look out for each other.
If ever wallowing in the chasm of total doubt, repeat this phrase:
"I'm moving through multiple portals while holding onto my sanity and finding the next door to go through."
Before you take another step, first take a moment to reflect on this truth. You are part of and on the receiving end of a creative process that is larger than yourself. You are a thread in the tapestry of life, being woven by chance and nature and magic and inspiration. You are the spark of imagination radiating out through the cosmos.
Ready to continue? Good. Take a deep breath and move your body.
Creative process is like a dance. There is some kind of music moving through us, pushing us energetically, calling to us, soothing us, energizing us or haunting us. Respond to it by listening, feeling, allowing it to move through, sensing it, and then expressing something as a result of all that. Creative process is moving, moving, moving like a whirlwind until something comes of it. It's vibrating, giggling, wiggling, sobbing, screaming, spastic, elastic, controlled, measured, focused, precise and wild. We are at its mercy and we're in love with it. We want it to be good for someone, for everyone who wants it, needs it, is happy to have seen it, touched it or experienced it. We want it to be good – but – it just wants us to love it as it is.
Now comes the really fun part:
Surrendering while maintaining your identity. Like a stone in a stream, carried by the stronger currents and left to rest in the calm shallows. Maintaining your form while simultaneously being reshaped by the passing waters. Your work is a statement that evolves within its dynamic surroundings.
Draw twenty circles that get progressively bigger. When you get to the fifth circle, write a place inside. Put an occupation in the tenth circle. At circle fifteen you’ll add an emotion. When you reach circle number twenty add a name to the center.
If the liminal gateway has still yet to appear, repeat the following Mantra three times into the closest mirror:
Desire to make.
Next – tune into a referenced real world form, and curiosity about making. Projects are an alchemy of these channels: tuning into the mental archive or the present moment, and carefully coaxing it into the physical. Whether you begin from the digital 3d world or not, ideally the physical is rendered through both machine tools and human hands, with discovery itself being a happy roadside companion – helping you to bring this idea into this physical world. Never forget: the joy hides in the process of learning and amusement.
Don't lose these coordinates:
dx = 10(y - x)
dy = x(28 - z) - y
dz = xy - z(8/3)
Please don't forget: you have to hold on to this tiger for as long as you can even though it’s really bitey.
Thus: Dream Plan Draw Cut Attach Cut Attach Coalesce Drink
and then get yourself some sticker paper \ window gaper \ cats and snakes opine \\ tape it to the wall \ tape it in the hall \ tape it to your face and then eat apples, tears, and dahl \\ the idea is half there \ the idea was right there \ sniff it lick it hug it kick it \ then pretend you care \\ regardless do not stop the process \ stoke fires with your spit \ the only thing that matters \ is that you finish it.
And finally, step back: