Ask a Bookseller: ‘Art and Fear’

From Ask a Bookseller:

This one’s for the creatives.

Used bookstores can be a treasure trove of great reads, old and new, on a huge variety of topics.

Dickson St. Bookshop in Fayetteville, Ark., is one such spot. Bookseller Elaine Eckert says she gets particularly excited when she comes across a copy of her favorite nonfiction book, “Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking,” by David Bayles and Ted Orland.

Eckert says she first picked up a copy two decades ago, and she still has that copy with its margin notes and underlines.

Written in straightforward, unpretentious language, the book urges people to keep doing the good and hard work of creating something new in the world.

“Whenever you’re tearing apart layers of your soul and putting them onto canvas or music notes or into words, there’s always that self-doubt,” concedes Eckert, who is also an amateur painter.

She easily located her favorite sentence in the book that reminds her to keep going: “Those who continue to make art, or those who have learned how to continue, or more precisely, have learned how not to quit.”

. . . .

She recommends this book as a good companion for those moments when creating feels scary or weighted down by self-doubt, or when our progress doesn’t align with our expectations.

Link to the rest at Ask a Bookseller

The secret to infinite creative productivity

From Medium:

In this post I will show you how you can increase your productivity 10x and get to better results faster in any creative discipline. We’ll uncover the essence of perseverance and the iterative process in the realm of design and creative problem-solving.

We are all grownups here: We know the secret to success in the creative industry does not rely on the genius, or the talented, or even the…well genius. The secret is really that the ones that want to solve the design problem the most, and by want, I mean, REALLY want the thing, they will solve it. At any cost.

The Importance of Persistence in Design

When facing a creative problem, the designer that manages to create more value per output, is the one that will get closer to success. Design is a process of discovery, you will start doing something, and it will not match what you have in your head, so you need to iterate over and over until you start discovering that little seed, that little thread that you need to pull until you figure out what that thread is.

It is in the repetition, in the exploration and in the discovery that you will find what tool, technique or driving force actually starts to multiply the output. That is for example, the essence of style.

The Significance of Style

Style is a set of choices and decisions that are repeated over and over forming a pattern that is recognizable and over time, it starts to mature its coherence.

The Dual Approach to Problem-Solving

The formula is on one side understanding the problem and on the other side trying to brute force a solution, eventually you will manage to marry both. The more experienced a designer you are -more library, more tools, more skills- the faster you will transform overclocking your brain and trying to bash through a problem, but everything starts on those two energy demanding edges.

Application of Principles Across Creative Disciplines

Here is the thing, that principle can be applied from developing a custom set of brushes, to drawing circles in order to learn how to draw basic shapes and also if you want to learn anatomy in order to complement the foundations, and you manage to repeat this every day until it becomes second nature, then you will start finding solutions faster.

This happens also when you are trying to solve hyper complex design problems, in real time for example, working on a landscape or an environment, you need to understand your foliage brushes, distances, landscape design, scale, composition, etc. Then in order to get to a perfect frame, you need to go through hundreds of iterations.

In concept art, usually before starting drawing, people do thumbnails, and they do sheets of dozens of them until they find that seed of what they are looking for.

Same applies to character design, character designers go through many iterations until they find the right curves, the right colors, the right expressions, etc.

With photography its the same thing.

The Art of Discarding

Bear with me with this one… In philosophy, via negativa is used to explore the nature of existence and reality. It emphasizes the limitations of human language and understanding when it comes to describing complex or abstract concepts. By focusing on what something lacks or what it is not, philosophers aim to clarify the boundaries of what can be known or defined.

We judge design, by what its not, and so, we try to define what it is, since designing is bringing something useful into this world (serving a commercial purpose then digital design has intrinsic value), we poke, challenge and stress test design and see where it fails.

Some designers value their work too much. They believe that their output is something that comes from the gods, and treat their work. But its the other way around, you can create divine work only if your decisions translate to an end result that solves the design problem.

Link to the rest at Medium

PG isn’t certain whether the OP will be of benefit to authors, but he thought “infinite creativity” was a good hook in the title.