Column is a monthly feature that explores the world
of creativity and aesthetics.
de Sousa, Director, AbleStable
The drafting process produces
work which is far more likely to stand the test
of time. Whatever creative activity you are engaged
of ideas and technique is what will set you apart
from the crowd. There are
however areas of creativity whose products require
do you stop trying to make your work better?
How do you know you have completed the final draft?
musician learns the value of self discipline
and perseverance very early in their journey
an instrument. These two qualities are a part
of the mindset of every musician, as without
regardless of how much natural talent
and ability the student has, they will never
fulfill their musical potential.
takes getting used to, and few take to it willingly,
but whether you're a painter or composer, sculptor
maker, you're going to need a lot of it before
you can begin to produce good work.
have a formal context to learn how to practice.
The teacher presents a piece of music which
the student often gets a buzz out of the first
they hear it. The student
becomes a musician when they
through practice, play
of music adequately before that initial magic
dissipates and their motivation to reach their
goal dries up. Unfortunately the drudgery of
practice dulls the
of enthusiasm, and most people who
begin an instrument give up long before they
pass through the first stages of learning to
will find accomplished musicians are generally
more centered and disciplined individuals because
of their self-regulated training.
spent some time talking about musicians because
it is easy for the musician and non-musician
alike to hear the difference between those who
have practiced, and those who have not. It is
rare to find someone who cannot immediately tell
whether someone has innate musical ability. We
recognize musical talent immediately, as we
do those with good proprioception.
(from the Latin
"proprius", meaning"one's own",
and perception) is the sense of the relative position
parts of the body. It is the sense that indicates
whether the body is moving with required effort,
as well as where
the various parts of the body are located in relation
to each other.
is what allows someone to learn to walk in complete
darkness without losing
balance. During the learning of any new skill,
sport, or art, it is usually necessary to become
familiar with some proprioceptive tasks specific
to that activity. Without the appropriate integration
of proprioceptive input, a pianist would not
be able to play with two hands simultaneously;
an artist would not be able to brush paint onto
at the hand as it moved the brush over the canvas;
a person could not dance;
and people would not be able to walk without
watching where they put their feet.
put, we all have a sense of proprioception, but
some, due to innate ability and a great deal
of practice, become expert. We recognize, admire,
who present their skills as musicians and dancers,
because the product of their refined sense of
body in space is transformed
into shape, rhythmn, and ultimately, art. Sports
people who are also a pleasure to watch archive
these first two qualities on the competitive
do not transform their movement and activity
of the most important tasks in producing
art is to deliver drafts for publication or performance.
Sometimes these are final drafts, at other times
they are revisions of the previously published or
is an important distinction between the creation
of art, and art itself. One is a creative process,
the other, art, is the product of human creative
activity which often holds a special significance.
is art which is constantly transformed or renewed
it is experienced.
In the case of music,
dance, and theatre,
the art is different depending on the
venue, performers, and audience. Indeed sometimes
art is wholly made up by the creative performer.
Improvised art that is satisfying is however
very rare and difficult to pull off. Only
a few outstanding creative performers like the
and musician Keith Jarrett, accomplish
this incredibly complex challenge.
challenge of the author is to judge
when a work is complete. In the world of literature
and film the editor is often a crucial partner
in that process, but there are many creative
fields where that judgment is left to an individual.
Experience, knowledge, and aesthetic are combined
in the mind of the creative author to reach a
decision as to when the work is complete. Sometimes
that decision is right, more often however the
decision is not.
should you stop drafting? When is a work complete?
The only answer I can offer is when work
viewed from outside your controlling force has
achieved its potential. That potential may be
slight or significant depending on the work's
elegance, potential to enrich, and its sensory
Never Ending Update
are creative endeavors that never reach
a conclusion or present a final draft. Software
developers constantly update the products of
efforts as the context in which their products
function, change. There is a compulsion by many
developers to constantly refine and improve their
code. The comparison between this process and
the artist throws up interesting issues
and will form the basis of my
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