Jun 1, 2011
Creativity is subtraction?
A few blogs ago I mentioned listening to the podcast of "How to Steal LIke an Artist (And 9 Other things Nobody Told Me) by Austin Kleon.
When I read the "Steal" essay online, #10 "Creativity is Subtraction" wasn't one that stuck. I supposed I didn't quite get it at first. Here's what he says:
10. Creativity is subtraction.
It’s often what an artist chooses to leave out that makes the art interesting. What isn’t shown vs. what is.
In this age of information overload and abundance, those who get ahead will be the folks who figure out what to leave out, so they can concentrate on what’s important to them.
Devoting yourself to something means shutting out other things.
What makes you interesting isn’t just what you’ve experienced, but also what you haven’t experienced.
The same is true when you make art: you must embrace your limitations and keep moving.
Creativity isn’t just the things we chose to put in, it’s also the things we chose to leave out. Or black out.
In the actual podcast, each of the ten are talked about in length. When I got to this one, it was much more involved along the, "Devoting yourself to something means shutting out other things" lines.
I've been mulling over it for days.
I've recently struggled somewhat with how to spend my time and who to spend it with. I've been with my sweetheart for six years. Most of my close girlfriends are not married. I don't have to have a day job. Most of my close girlfriends have day jobs. I am very fortunate to be in a position where I don't have to toss and turn and night over how to come up with rent money or grocery money (and I've been on that end, too). I am able to do what I want with my time. I'm able to concentrate on shows when they come my way, take on photo shoots and video shoots as I like, and make my City Weekly and YouTube videos. This is why I say yes to so much. I like to stay busy but I'm also in a position to. By no means am I rolling in the dough or able travel all over or buy whatever I want. By all means, between show if I wanted to take a day job I totally could fit it in and very much benefit from the extra cash. I've actually considered a summer job, because I'd like to save up for travel and I definitely have the time the next few months.
Anyway. Being married. It also happens that marriage is very different than when you are dating someone. It must be like having a baby. You'll never truly know what it's like until you do it. Marriage for me enhanced everything. We became a family. We have only gotten closer and closer in the past 6 years and I have only gotten more and more secure. We truly enjoy each others company. We get to be family, best friends and in love. A husband and wife bond is something only a husband and wife know.
What I'm trying to say is, I'm in a situation that's very different from many of my close friends. Not for the better, not for the worse. I just feel...different. When you have a husband or wife or partner you spend 99.9% of your time together. Well, some couples do (self included in this category). So it's easy to let friendships slip. But as you get more settled in and more time passes you are ready to reach out and make sure to stay connected and stay seeing each other.
But its hard. I know it's my own sense of ego, others behaving in a way I didn't want them to behave, but I have over the last little bit of time put in quite an effort and been disappointed with the results.
Here's where creativity is subtraction comes in for me. In the detailed podcast, it hit me that in spending this energy and time on outside people and things can be negative and if I want to be productive, useful, creative and ultimately who and what I want to be, well then, "Devoting yourself to something means shutting out other things" sure starts making a lot of sense.
I don't know if I feel I am still supposed to remain close to certain people because there is history there? Or if I need to stop investing so much, stop having my feelings hurt and move on so that I'm open to those who do give back, do keep plans, do make me feel as though they truly want to be out with me, etc.
When I let go of trying so hard to keep old relationships in tact and accept and allow the idea that people and lives are in a constant state of change (and that as sad as it is, people can grow apart and have less in common over time. We could never see any of it coming this far, or what more there is to come), I become more aware of all the people who do want to spend their time with me, to have a lunch date, to have a drink, to collaborate artistically with me. It's all around me.
Why do I fight against it? Or rather, why do I fight for anything other than that?
I guess it's been hard to reconcile the different places everyone is currently in, and what and who I need in my life.
I have come to learn I like to feel useful. I want to make the most of my free time. I also (as mentioned a few blogs back) want to turn of the (computer and tv) screen and put my gaze on those that mean the most to me.
My sweetheart, our family, what we want for our future. Time in the gym to work on my physical self, writing and reading to help my mental and emotional self and time for collaborations with other artistic folks who want to be there, who want to have fun and make something together for my creative self.
In other words, to do what I need to look, feel and be the ultimate version of me that I possibly can.
Less time for some things, more time for other things.
I guess I'm learning all about the subtraction aspect in order to go where I need to go.
Posted by Deena Marie