Creativity inaction


Installing Adobe Creative Suite 2… so excited!

Still feeling stalled creatively, but as usual I’m taking some small solace in my love for the tools of creativity. Not talking about CS2, which is big and beautiful to be sure, but there’s something disconnecting about it. In times like these what I really like to do is open up a box of pastels or a tin of art pencils and drift for a second or two in the smell of chalk or the smoky aroma of freshly-sharpened wood, or open one of my sketchbooks to a blank page and just lay my face, eyes closed, against the coolness of the paper. A relaxing and lovely experience, and though not actually productive, steeped with endless potential for productivity. Enough to stave off the malaise for a little longer.

It’s warped. I know.

I wonder if this is why Julia Cameron’s morning pages work so well — that the wells of creativity are primed more effectively by these physical acts, the touch and taste and odor of pen against paper or graphite dust wafting into the air. Ink stains on fingers. The click of a manual-action typewriter*.

On the other hand, writing or drawing on a computer is pretty one-dimensional. Everything feels exactly the same, and if there’s some appreciable taste or smell or dust to it, dude, clean your computer already!

Still, everything about the old way is time-consuming — setup, execution, cleanup — and I haven’t had much time at all lately. So I just open up the drawer and sit with my supplies, enjoying without creating.

Dreaming of next time, when the drawer stays open.

*Gail’s typewriter photos, which sparked some of this rambling!

  • muckdog: I can't draw a straight line either! Never been able to. Have no problem with short & curvy though.

    matthew: Love it!

    Hong: I have! But sadly none of the new features yet. And haven't touched Illustrator at all, which has some of the features I'm looking forward most to playing with. Soon, I hope!

  • Hong

    Have you used it? -:)

  • matthew

    Tibor Kalman said a beautiful thing about drawing with a pencil versus drawing with a computer. I don't remember his phrasing, but he said something like, "The computer is such a precise tool. When I draw with a pencil it is a mess, you can't tell what it is-- it is so interesting." [He kind of mimed holding up a piece of paper and turning it different ways to see what was there, as he said it.]

  • I wish the artistic side of my brain worked. I envy you. I can't draw a straight line with the aid of a ruler. PATHETIC!

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