I’m a creator. I draw, paint, assemble, design, write, and compose. For me, the act of creation is similar regardless of the medium or discipline. I begin with an idea, which in turn leads me in unexpected and surprising directions. The art pieces that I make are assemblages of wood, found objects, and paint. Sometimes I will do a quick sketch to get an idea of some basic shapes but rarely do they resemble the initial concept once they’re ready to hang on the wall. In fact, the ones that stick the closest to the original sketch are generally the most disappointing pieces. It’s the evolution, the effect of chance that play a part in the more successful pieces.
More often than not I simply pull out several pieces of wood, bottles, feathers, other stuff I have collected, and start arranging and rearranging. I cut and shape the wood, combine it with man-made or natural objects, and then paint and ornament the construction until I am happy with it. New techniques come to light by accident. Some work and some don’t.
Writing is really no different. I gather my ideas and words and start stringing them together, experimenting with this phrase and that one, honing and adjusting until they render the mental image that I am most pleased with. Scenes build and relate to one another suggesting directions that sometimes veer away from the original inspiration. There are times when a book feels like it is writing itself and I am there just there to record it.
I’m also a self- taught mountain dulcimer player. I have composed a number of songs on the instrument and the process is again very similar. Note by note, chord by chord, the tune is assembled through trial and error and occasionally I stumble almost accidentally upon a sweet riff that brings a smile to the face and raises the heart rate a little.
In every case, I think that it’s more the journey than the destination that keeps man creating. The true satisfaction comes with the realization that you made something that is wholly unique with your own two hands. Sharing what you made is simply the icing on the cake. Those who say that there is no such thing as an original idea either aren’t creative enough to come up with one or lack the courage to try.