"Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things."
-- Ray Bradbury
Is Bradbury correct? I don't think he gets it quite right. Thinking is a vital part of the creative process. The enemy is over-thinking. That can easily lapse into self-consciousness and become an impediment to the free flow of creativity.
How does the process work for you? In my case, as I've written before, inspiration can come from an array of sources and is often the confluence of several, a melding that takes place at a level below consciousness. Certainly, that was the case with this drawing:
Take Five, Key of Z
Graphite on paper
It's impossible for me to pinpoint the precise genesis, but it followed the death of a friend and fellow blues musician. He was a much-beloved character, a keyboard player named Dave Pliske. Somewhere along the line he had picked up the nickname "Zero," and that is how he was universally known (except to the authorities with whom he had more than a passing acquaintance). To those of us who played with him, he was also the "Z-man" or just plain "Z."
At some point after his passing, I was inspired to do a drawing that I hoped would capture, with a slightly mordant if not macabre edge, the man, his music and, especially, the camaraderie we enjoyed and the affection we had for him. Since one of the numbers he played was the Dave Brubeck classic Take Five, that was the jumping-off point. The elements all seemed to come together in a rush, and I've always felt the results achieved exactly what I was after.
Tell me about your own creative experience.
While you're here, please check out my brother's chilling debut novel. Readers love it!
- "This novel picks you up by the scruff of your neck and doesn't let you go until the final pages." (5 stars) VB, London
- "A powerful exploration of real-life horror and psychological turmoil." (5 stars) JC, Illinois
- "I found myself not being able to put the book down...it just got better and better." (5 stars) LS, Arizona