Last week was a slow week for me.
I have had a bit of a block, artistic variety, on how to build my castle in InWorldz. It finally broke, the block not the castle, on Monday when I had my head under a bush weeding out some pesky miscreant plants. It had been nearly two weeks, and an interesting study, for me, in my own design process. Being blocked is a bit like constipation, it’s not a totally static state, there’s lots going on, digesting data and possible solutions. It’s not something that you can force in any way either, and the artistic stereotype that you have to get drunk and take drugs is a bit of a red herring.
I believe it is a digestion process in that all the information, parameters and desires are lowered into the sub conscious where they are dismantled into sub-atomic elements and then, like animo acids, rebuilt into long-chain molecules which finally combine into the flesh and bones of an idea.
It has to be simple. If you can’t describe what your idea is in a sentence then you are bullshitting. Pages of self-indulgent ‘back story’ are smoke and mirrors hiding the fact that your idea is so weak you don’t know what it is. The reason it has to be strong and simple is that during the build process (painting, whatever..) the medium you use forces a certain amount of compromise on you. It is not possible to simply transfer your idea directly into another’s brain, a medium is involved. A medium has it’s limitations, that’s where the compromise comes in.
The block breaks, you have an idea, now begins the technical part of the process which is very much a ‘problem solving’ phase. Where your skills aren’t a match to the challenge you have to think your way to a ‘work around’ and carry on. There are many ways to skin a cat (an unfortunate expression) and many ways of achieving an effect similar to the one you wanted….but… only if your initial idea is strong enough. If not, your piece sinks under the weight of technical compromises.
So, this week I’m building in my head… I can see the final product and I’m trying to find out how I’ll do it. I can visualise well enough to build quite a few different castles before I even touch a prim.
As often happens, I then got asked to do a build at Split Screen for showing in October and, in this case, (there’s no logic in these things) the idea came within 24 hours …. so I’m suddenly very busy. SL is really crap to build in after InWorldz. The restrictions on prim size and linking are really boring and time consuming, it’s like suddenly going backwards to a (very slightly) primitive era. Not bad enough to stop me, just enough to irritate slightly and provide me with more hurdles to jump.
The most interesting thing with having an artistic block is the fear it induces in some. I have been there so many times now that it never worries me. I never believe it won’t break even though I can get impatient.
The most important thing is to have given yourself enough time when you take on a project to allow for periods of “ineffective inactivity”…because these periods are neither. They are not ineffective nor inactive, just subconscious, and the subconscious has a different relationship to time than our conscious mind.
Anyway… Split Screen details to follow as October approaches…. back to building in my head….