| 05 May, 2012 11:20
I thought I would chime in with more notions on the creative process. My last remarks dealt with the idea that in order to get the creative juices flowing, there needs to be a beginning. In other words, you need to just start something, and the ideas will come. This concept is all well and good and has worked very well for me, especially as a teaching tool. But, like many teachers, I seem to have a difficult time following my own advice.
The following is a case in point:
About a year or so ago, I created a collage called CHUTES AND LADDERS. Some of you may remember it. Judging by the feedback the piece was fairly successful and I had quite a good time working on it so I decided to pursue the “game board” idea some more. I began perusing yard sales and flea market and the like looking for games that most of us might be familiar with and that had interesting boards and pieces. I have collected a few and they sit in my studio perhaps providing entertainment for the mice and the spiders and whatever other nocturnal creatures live in the little nooks and crannies of my workspace.
For some reason, two of these games have been in the back of my mind for some time as fodder for a new piece. These games are Operation and Trivial Pursuit. From time to time I would get them out and move some of the pieces around (I cut up the board for Trivial Pursuit) and arrange them in a variety of ways. Some of these configurations looked interesting, and some not so much. I even went so far as to photograph a couple of the arrangements that, at the time, I found particularly pleasing. But they never seemed to hit the mark so I would wipe everything out and start again and again and again.
I simply could not seem to find the right composition. Then, after writing the speech for the church (see my previous entry) I realized that I was going about this thing all wrong. It simply was not yet time to be that picky! So I laid the panel on my studio table and began to squirt some fluid paint all over my nice pristine white panel. When the paint dried I glued some of the game board pieces down. Come what may, this was going to be my start. There was no turning back. The block was over and I was on my way with this piece.
I think it might be interesting (at least for me) to post how (and if) this thing develops, so, if you’re interested, stay tuned, I may even post a pic or two.
| 29 April, 2012 21:41
Recently, my church asked me to give a short talk on creativity. The response was both insightful and positive so I thought I would re post it here. I welcome your thoughts and feedback.
When I was asked to speak on creativity, my first response was “no problem”. After all, I call myself an artist, I have taught art for most of my adult life and the topic has always been near and dear to my heart. Then, when I sat down to write, it hit me. I had to come up with something interesting and relevant to say. I had to be creative and I really didn’t think I had a clue.
So, of course, instead of trying to think of something new, instead of being creative, I turned to the internet. I looked at a bunch of quotes about creativity and I found that most of them were either some kind of poor attempt at waxing philosophical or were just cute little ditty’s that really (at least for me) had nothing relevant to say.
I was about ready give up on this course of action when I found this quote from Steve Jobs.
“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things.”
This one really hit home for me. It hit home because this is how I work and, essentially, this is how I taught my students, no matter what the age level, to work. I would give them an excuse to start something. This might be scribble a line here, or pour some paint there. It didn’t really matter what they did. The point was to have them give themselves a beginning. Turn it into a face, or make up an animal, or just start playing with color and see what develops. Once you have a starting point, you have taken the cork out of the bottle and, if you will allow it, the ideas can come pouring out.
Now, you may ask, what does this have to do with the Steve Jobs quote. The answer is simply that you cannot make connections unless you have something to connect with. That first line, or glob of paint or that widjamadooflicky that you hold in your hand is the first piece of the puzzle, and all of your life experiences are the rest of the pieces. The beauty of it is that you can put those pieces together any way you like. And if you allow yourself to do so, you will come up with something new and at least for me, there is no other experience like this.
I cannot tell you how many times I hear “I am not an artist” or I can’t draw a straight line” or any one of a thousand other excuses from people who somehow need to find some justification for claiming that they are not creative. Sometimes they just say “I am not creative”. I have stock answers for these things. “Of course you are an artist, everyone is to some degree” “I can’t draw a straight line either, and I really don’t want to” and “Everyone is creative”.
When you were two or three years old, you loved to draw, or make sounds by banging a spoon on the table, or sing out loud. The problem is somewhere along the line, when you got a little older, somebody told you that “no that has to look like something” or make something real” or stop making all that noise”. These people didn’t destroy your creativity. That is not possible. They simply put the preverbal cork in the bottle, and with a starting point and a little positive thinking, and a little bit of playing around, you can release those creative juices again. The cork was the pressure that I put on myself to come up with something “relevant” for my contribution to this service. The Steve Jobs quote was my starting point. It removed my cork. Once the cork was removed from the bottle, the rest was easy.
| 23 March, 2011 21:05
The other day I posted this statement by the artist Robert Rauschenberg on Facebook. At first, it seemed a simple enough idea and I thought it interesting because it waxed philosophical and I have posted similar statements before. A day or two later, the question was raised that if art or life can’t be made, then how can they exist? I thought this a good question and it got me to thinking. The short answer, in my opinion at least, is that Rauschenberg was referring to art and life as experiences. The other party in our Facebook conversation seems to disagree. But that’s OK. In fact I’m sort of glad of it because it got me thinking about the whole thing in more depth and I began to dissect the idea. In case you hadn’t guessed, I love this sort of thing, so here is my long answer.
My position is that both life and Art (with a capitol “A” meaning all Art including literature, music, poetry etc.)
Are individual experiences. No two individuals have the same life experiences therefore no two individuals can have the same Art experiences. A colleague will see my work in a totally different light than someone who’s life experiences have led them down a different path. When a viewer looks at my work, his or her reaction to it is a result of an infinite number of other life experiences. Some of which, on the surface, may appear to have nothing to do with his or her particular reaction. In fact, if this same person goes away and comes back tomorrow, the Art experience could be completely different. In this sense, I agree with Rauschenberg.
The artist cannot create the Art experience, he or she can only create the catalyst for it.
Anyway, this is where I stand. If you have a thought or two on the subject, weather you agree with me or not, it would be interesting to hear from you. As I said before, I love this sort of thing.
| 14 March, 2011 21:34
When these things happen I am never sure what to do. I usually just start pushing the paint around a little bit, then at some point, I will glue the object on to the surface of the picture, and let my instincts take over. This is my plan with the butterfly and I will begin tomorrow. I will keep you posted on how things go. I may even post an in progress picture or two. We shall see what we shall see.
| 09 March, 2011 14:55
My name is Robert Sako, Bob to you. Today I begin my blog.
A little about me. I am what might be called an older new and emerging artist. By that I mean I have been an artist for most of my life, and I have been a part of the Greater Wheeling Area’s art scene for a long time, but other concerns such as the responsibilities and stresses of my job have had to take precedence. On May 28, 2010, I walked out of Martins Ferry Middle School for the last time as a full time art instructor and on that date the Powers That Be gave me the opportunity to focus on art on a full time basis. I am now able to focus on using my skills as an artist to express who I am and say what I want to say. In other words, I can now make Art, not just pictures.
So with that thought in mind, I begin my journey. Where will I go? I’m not quite sure but if you decide to follow me for a bit, it could get interesting. Will this blog be worth your time? That, I suppose is for you to decide. Will it be worth my time? We shall see.