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Here is artwork that reflects my unwound mind.

The computer scientist Jaron Lanier noted, almost in passing,“The people he knows don’t achieve creativity by trying to do something novel. They achieve it by being more themselves.”

It’s a simple concept but one most of us shy away from. The reason are as varied as people are;  We are afraid of being wrong, we don’t want to be criticized, we believe we need to conform to certain standards, no one will like what we create and on and on.

Further from  (Matthew Hutson in Psyched!) “In computational terms, one can see each person’s brain as a solution to a problem. (It could be called the problem of life.) Some aspects of the problem are common–object recognition, for example–and so everyone shares a similar solution. Your brain identifies a chair using processes similar to the ones mine has developed (and to some degree inherited). But some aspects of the problem are unique to each person’s situation–navigating to one’s school, relating to one’s parents, etc. And so we each have solutions–skill sets–different from everyone else’s. Get in touch with that skill set and you’ll be tapping into a font of useful originality.”

Personally, this is an ongoing battle for me. I feel compelled to work in certain ways that I believe are acceptable and will make an income. On the other hand I feel more comfortable doing what comes naturally to me but I have this nagging fear that no one will like it or understand. (sometimes I don’t understand it but I like the results) So I do both and perhaps one day they will merge into one and I will have actualized a longtime goal.

In an ideal world, you create what you think works and makes you feel good. The result is everyone praises you and pays you good money for your art.  In the real world that rarely happens, but you can feel good about the work and the feeling of accomplishment  Getting paid well or not at all shouldn’t govern whether you continue to explore and develop your talents.

Here’s an exercise I do to loosen myself from the constraints of wanting to please.

I starting scribbling shapes and lines onto a paper with a pencil, sometimes a soft pencil sometimes a hard one. This depends on my feelings at the time no other practical reason. Once I have enough marks on the page I start creating imagery from the shapes that have been created. These images are not thought our they just come out of the thought process as I look at the shapes. Soon the imagery takes a shape of some sort and I see something recognizable in it. I go with that and soon a picture is created in a way I could never preconceive. If it’s something no one else could’ve done but me then I know it’s working. It has nothing to do with rendering an arm or hand correctly or whether the lighting is right. It’s right because I like the result and that is the way it should be.

Try it sometime, you may be surprised with the result.