with Said a lot lately about "chilling". He feels badly
that there's times when he just doesn't want to have visitors, where
he doesn't want to be driving just because his friends want rides to
go eat out. He just want to chill out, by himself, but he finds it is
difficult because "there's so much to do" all the time and so many
people who are depending on him for their entertainment. He feels
pressured because he wants to do skill building and follow his creative
muse. I could feel he was getting uncentered in this "Value of Chilling"
I learned while working with creative people, and I do consider computer
programmers as creative people for they must make something out of
nothing, that when they were just sitting there, not typing, not talking
on the telephone, not looking something up in a book, but just sitting
there, they were in the creative process. I'd leave them alone, or just
quietly put a note on their desk saying, "when you're free buzz my
desk." I did this because sometimes folks need to chill, to relax, be
alone, be quiet, to sort things out in their minds. We don't get enough
of this alone time in a busy life of family, work, and social demands.
I told him "chilling" and having alone time is a good thing. That it
is part of the creative process to put one's feet up on the window
sill and just look at clouds and pick one's teeth, mulling stuff over.
"You think so, Mom?" he asked with those troubled eyes. He was really
struggling with his social demands and the need to hustle for nickels
and dimes, and his need for time to reflect and meditate. He didn't want
to get angry with folks just to have alone time, but he didn't know how
to explain the importance of that time for solitude with his friends.
So I'll share with you what I shared with my youngest son. It's ok to
chill as an artist and this is why...
Creativity is a three part process:
Here on the list the input comes in many forms:
Output come to us by way of the pix list or folks sharing urls.
Now that leaves one part of the creative process that is sorely
overlooked and ever so neglected.
Time to chill. Time to synthesize what we've seen and heard, and
filter it through our own sensibilities. Without time to synthesize
the input... how are we going to put our personal stamp on our output?
I mean... there's no original thought involved with baking a boxed
cake. You open the box, you empty it into a bowl, you read the
directions and you bake the cake. It's a functional thing and not a
creative thing unless you get happy with the frosting afterward.
What if you were creating a whole new cake recipe? Let's say because of
a contest or something, you'd think...
Ok, basic cake recipe
and you'd look out the window while chewing on your pencil eraser and
you'd think about it.
You'd synthesize the input. How are you going to put your personal and
original stamp on this beet cake contest as you watch the sun set?
Then you remember the fresh yellow beets of the Salinas valley and if
the cake were colored with red food coloring it would be really
pretty, just like this sunset. That's the synthesis part of the creative
That kicks off the production and the output is a cake that when
anyone asks... what are these yellow candied fruit here in this pretty
red cake, you respond, "cul wu skuts". That means "Eat and shut up." in
The quiet and alone time for synthesis of the input of demos, tutes,
rambles is something I understand with the claymates. Often it's those
folks who do the most for the list who feel the most guilty for taking
a break from volunteer work.
Please Moderators and ClayMates, respect your time for thought, for
meditation, for pencil chewing -one of the most important and underrated
activities that pencil chewing. Guard your alone time and don't feel bad
for needing to get centered, chill out, think about things.
It is such an important part of the creative process that the few
times you see original art without that time to contemplate stuff it's
often from those hyper manic artists with brain disorders that force
them to produce endlessly wildly original stuff just before their
brains stop working all together. There's a brain disorder that does
that. I forget what it's called, it was so shocking I blocked the name
of it I'm sure.
So chill when you need to, don't stress out if you take a break from
being active on the list and going off to "do your own thing" as they
sing on Sesame Street... "which of these claymates is doing their own
It's ok... chilling is goooooood, synthesizing things you've seen or
read in quiet time is goooood. Protect that time for it will help you
grow as an artist, for the main opinion you need to consider in
doing your art... is your own.
How can you hear yourself think if you don't get your required quiet
time? So walk the dog, go for a jog, bob in a tub, do a trance dance,
play a video game, or in my case... wash a mountain of dishes, that
alone time is special, you are enjoying the pleasure of your own
company and are in conference with yourself as to what art you will
Just had to share this for I know folks feel guilty when they aren't
working or they aren't producing. Raw resources don't walk into a
factory and abracadabra they come out the back door as finished durable
goods. They go through a process.
Our quiet and alone time is part of that process.
For those who have more than enough quiet and alone time, this chatty
list is here for goosing your muse and encouraging every effort.
Ya, that's the ticket, I'll send this now and get back to the important
activity of chilling.