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Home » Archives » July 2005 » Where Creativity Happens... [Previous entry: "Whippersnappers..."] [Next entry: "Something Cool that doesn't exist...yet"] 07/30/2005: "Where Creativity Happens..." listening to: SNL in the background...still.
feeling: Fine, I guess.

I recently read an interview with Art Chantry, who, for a long time I had thought to be a complete ASS. Now, of course, I am older (than YOU, Nicole) and wiser, and I know a lot more about Mr. Chantry's career, and I now see why he was a bitter ass who proclaimed that he had invented the HotRod Flame. Anyway, if Art ever Googles himself and finds this...Dude. As much as I want to be a designer who is credited for inventing an aesthetic...I SO do not want to be you. Thing is, I think I am. So, consider this an apology for all the times that I sullied your name...not that you care.


So, I read this interview in which he describes his creative process. He's of the "take a nap, take a shower, take some pills, drink some booze," school of creativity, because he believes that creativity happens while you are thinking of something else...or not thinking at all. I am calling this the "depressive" method of creative induction.

He also talked about Andy Warhol's process...and about how he used to work with a couple of TVs, and six or seven radios on to distract him. I work pretty much the same way. I always have a radio on, or a TV, or both, or a couple radios in different rooms tuned to different stations, a TV in my office, and iTunes blaring Weezer. I am calling this the "stimulant" method of creative induction.

The basic thing that both approaches assume is that creativity happens in the spaces between linear thoughts. The "depressive" method, I feel, attempts to elongate the duration of the gaps between linear thoughts. It also typically involves "relaxing" and substances that would be categorized as depressants...Alchohol, Pot, etc. The basic theory being that if you elongate the gaps, the ideas that happen there have a more hospitable environment in which to develop.

The "stimulant" method (my method) attempts to experience a larger number of short linear thoughts, producing more (shorter) gaps between them. If a creative impulse has 'legs' as they say, it manages to hang on through the gaps, until it eventually strings enough gaps together to become an linear thought in and of itself. This method is frequently associated with hyperactivity and chemical stimulants, like Nicotine, Caffeine, Cocaine, etc, and High-Energy artists like Andy.

I think the stimulant method is more prevelant, because it has more legal and socially acceptable methods of implementation. It's a lot more acceptable to have a cuppa' Joe and an iPod in your office than it is to have a bottle of Jack a Fatty. It's also a lot easier to ease into. There is a big difference between getting jacked up on "The Buck" and slamming around your office to some GnR and the kind of hyper-stimulating cocophony that Andy Warhol utilized.