The Motivation Behind Creation

February 07, 2018

What I have learned in my 20 + years as a professional artist is that creation is made up of two parts. There is the process and the product. I must confess wholeheartedly that for the most part of my artistic career I loved to reach the end stage of a project where the process ended in a product. I went as fast as I could in my excitement to go from mental image to 3 dimensional shape that I could hold in my hands. I thought that was just magical....The fact that something that was floating in my mind could just be made into something real. I would get an idea, make and make and make and then compare the real thing and the mental image and sometimes that would be satisfying and a lot of the times my mental image had been more promising. I forgot about the process, it was the means to an end result.

SolemnSolemnSerene scene of pine trees in a foggy forest which is lit from behind.

I forgot about the process, it was the means to an end result

That shifted when I became more serious about photography. I have always been totally absorbed by the process of photography, depending on its inherent qualities of changing me into the observer, to somehow become still when the world would go mad around me. I noticed how different the process of photography was to my other creative process. I love the process of photography so, so much. I even love it when the results are crap. In my work as a soft sculpture artist I would always work meticulously with great attention to detail, but I worked towards the end product, often not being totally there....My mind would already be at the end result. As soon as I started to notice the difference between the two approaches I shifted things around in my soft sculpture art. After all, if my mind is already at the end result, when am I actually living? I can't live in that imaginary future, life is here and now and I'd better immerse myself fully in the process in order for me to live more fully. I was just skipping to the future with lots of images of what had previously worked and failed in the past and images of imagined end results running through my head. I would be so obsessed that I would sometimes sew in bed late at night because I wanted to see the end result. That had nothing to do anymore with loving the process, it was obsessive and unhealthy and it lead to me not really liking the creative process of making something anymore. These days I focus on the process, on the sketching, on the cutting out of patterns, on the designing, on the sculpting in the very same way that I am immersed in the process of photography. I am totally dedicated to what I am actually doing in the very best way I can, because life is in the process

Don't skip over the process (the here and now) to get to the end result. Love the creating, not just what you create...

Life is in the process

Oak FrameOak FrameOak trees in a fairytale forest setting photographed on a misty morning. A scene of stillness