Reflecting on my own practice
This week I came to the realisation that, although I’ve been exposed to varied creative practices over the course of my education and professional life, I haven’t developed the habit of using a formal methodology to frame my creative work. I’m aware that strategic, intentional methodologies can enhance creativity and produce innovative results, however I have an internalised belief that to let my creativity flourish I should follow my instincts, let loose and not plan too much. I’ve been influenced by society’s romantic ideals of ‘the creative’ as someone mysterious and wild, who simply throws paint onto a canvas and creates something wonderful.
“[creative] is also an accessible word to identify something that (or someone who) is not easily understood”. (HIRST, Leslie)
I found this week to be enlightening as I noticed that I’ve inadvertently been using some of the practices and phases outlined in several creative methodologies that we studied this week. I attribute much of my creative practice to the teachers and mentors whom I’ve encountered on my creative path. From art teachers at school, to the fashion designers who took me on as an intern, they all taught me creative methods, without using acronyms or naming the strategies behind them. Iv’e been fortunate enough to gain the building blocks to develop a strong foundation as a creative practitioner, without fully realising it.
This week I was excited to learn some new practices to explore creativity within a strategic framework. Out of all the creative processes we explored, the ICEDIP model made the most sense to me, and aligns with my own creative practice. I like that it’s free-flowing in the sense that the order and priority of the phases can vary.
The ICEDIP method was introduced to us this week by Professor Tanya Krzywinskai. It’s a creative model formalised by Geoffrey Petty, and a series of phases that require different dispositions.
- Inspiration – free thinking and exploration
- Clarification – focus on your goals
- Distillation – determine which ideas to work on
- Incubation – take time out & let the subconscious do its process
- Evaluation – analytical, look back at work in progress
- Perspiration – work sprint
Combining the familiar with the new
For this week’s challenge activity, I decided to use one familiar creative methodology, and one new to explore the concept of remediation. In this context remediation means to create a piece of art, borrowing from and refashioned from other media (GRUSIN & BOLTER).
I started with the popular mind-mapping technique to generate ideas, and followed up with an unfamiliar technique called crazy-eights, which involves doing eight quick sketches to ideate the final image. My aim was to complete this task in one afternoon, so I chose a final design that I was happy with and could create relatively quickly. I created my final artwork, submitted and went to sleep. The next day I returned to thinking about one of my other ideas for the final piece, I felt that I had more to express, and that in fact the first piece was incomplete without the second.
What happened here is that I went away and passed through the ‘incubation’ stage of creative practice, which was inevitable as it’s a stage that I factor in to my professional creative work, and thus is an instinctive part of my process. Though I previously didn’t call it incubation, I value spending time away from my work to let my subconscious process my ideas, often coming up with new ideas and solutions.
My reflection on my own creative practice this week brought me back to the importance of this phase, and gave it a name.”Incubation involves pondering potential solutions, possibly over a long period of time.” (BATESON & MARTIN. 2013). I wrote more thoughts of the incubation phase here.
I chose to remediate a work of art from the early 20th century art movement Fauvism, narrowed down to paintings of interiors by Henri Matisse. Figure 1 is my first remediated piece, using Matisse’s ‘The Blue Window’ and replacing items from the room with items from my own surroundings. Through the ‘crazy-eights’ process I sketched several personal items in various compositions before I came up with the final image.
Figure 2 was one of my initial ideas that came through mind-mapping. Replacing Matisse’s paintings in ‘The Red Studio’ with protest posters from recent activist causes, reflecting issues that are on my mind. The colour red in the studio has connotations of danger, or anger, this sparked the idea to represent the issues that get me fired up.
As I originally submitted the remediated ‘Blue Window’, which represents my immediate surroundings, I felt that this was an incomplete representation of what I wanted to express. I intended to replace the context of Matisse’s paintings with elements of my own life. The ‘Blue Window’ is just one, exterior side, and the ‘Red Studio’ represents issues that are on my mind. I feel that the final result of the remediated collages side-by-side is more complete. It was nevertheless a quick exercise in testing out creative processes. So if I were to do it again with more time, I would combine the two into one complete image with the posters & the interior items and more personal detail.
Fig 1, Fig 2
HIRST, Leslie. 2013. The Art of Critical Making. Rhode Island School of Design on Creative Practice. John Wiley & Sons, Incorporated.
Grusin R.and Bolter, J. D. 2000. Remediation: Understanding New Media. London: The MIT Press.
BATESON, Patrick, and MARTIN. 2013. Paul. Play, Playfulness, Creativity and Innovation. Cambridge University Press. ProQuest Ebook Central.
Fig 1: Remediated ‘The Blue Window’. Henri Matisse (1913) Original available at: https://www.moma.org/collection/works/79350
Fig 2: Remediated ‘The Red Studio’. Henri Matisse (1911) Original available at: https://www.moma.org/collection/works/78389
Red studio poster references, L – R:
1. Extinction Rebellion Fashion (2019) Available at: https://www.shiftlondon.org/features/extinction-rebellion-vs-london-fashion-week-what-happens-now/
2-3. Adapt Posters (2020) Available at: https://www.instagram.com/adapt_____/
4. Fora Bolsonaro Poster (2020) Available at: https://www.vakinha.com.br/vaquinha/fora-bolsonaro-thais-francielle-alves
5. The Wrong Amazon is Burning (2020) XR Available at: https://www.xrlosangeles.org/events/5kwute96hvw4xfcup9nbvsz0cmh90c
6. Defund Bolsonaro (2020) Defend Democracy Brasil Available at: https://www.defenddemocracyinbrazil.org/amazon-indigenous-peoples