“In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed” … Charles Darwin
Many metaphors have been used to describe the power of the forces found within those who are possessed with creativity.
I too have used the forces and elements of fire, water, wind and earth to add imagery to explaining what happens. But my favorite imagery word and metaphor is the WAVE.
Waves naturally occur in all elements of the natural world: air, water, fire and earth. Each of these are both elements and origins of waves. The unknown forces of electricity and the inexplicable force of light also travels in, among and through the action of waves.
Thus, a better metaphor for creativity I do not know.
There is a force of an exceedingly odd and wondrous nature, which resides within the heart of those who create. To me the best description of this force is that of a WAVE.
Waves do not begin as waves though. The begin as ripples. Small at first, then growing as their energy builds. In the world of reality, waves do not run unencumbered. There are always interferences that will divert, absorb, adopt… even eliminate a wave. The same is quite true for the creative wave.
The ripple. Beginning from a single source it spreads outward, touching nothing or everything. It’s the luck-o-the-draw which it becomes. The ripple continues on to its end back to a static state; so long as the genesis itself remains static.
When a ripple magnifies – in size or in number – it builds in size and energy.
The ripple turns into a wave. The origin of the ripple determines the size of impact it will have at any time. Each one housing its own kinetic energy the innate ability to instantly rise up to form a unified force that becomes a Wave.
When individual ripples of creativity unite, they form the creative wave and this is where collaboration begins.
Whether collaboration is the actual physical involvement – of two or more creatives – with the outcome of a production – or the result of shared idea, discussion or other informative infusion of inspiration, the unification of the ripples cannot help but build into a creative wave.
The HOW and WHY of an creative wave formation is purely up for speculation. All I know is this: it was a kinetic amplitude that swept me into a barrel curl in the early days of January 2010.
GENESIS: The Continuum Begins
I was reading the mornings postings on my O’fieldstream Facebook account when I noticed a post by Jeff Kennedy.
Jeff over the 2009 year, had completed a self-made project he called Drawing Flies 365, which he posted the details, examples and updates of, on his blog. In the project, Jeff – an accomplished artist – painted a fly-fishing fly each day for the 365 days of the year 2009. At the end of 2009 he published a book of his work. A very impressive piece of work, too.
In that Facebook post, I noticed he had teamed up with Jason Borger. Jason is, in his own right, an accomplished artist. He is also well knows for his roll as the renowned fly-caster ( the actual ‘shadow caster’ in the famous ‘A River Runs Through It‘ movie). Jeff and Jason were teaming up to produce a daily, “My Take vs. Your Take”, collaboration of producing an illustration of a fly-fishing fly- every week- for the length of 2010.
I don’t know Jeff well, but we are FB friends and I’ve carried on a few FB posts with him over the past year. While I’ve never met Jason, I know ‘of him’. Yes – just like and in the same way as – about 200M other people. Eh! But, I do know his very famous father, Gary Borger.
All this rippling put my creative juices into a slow simmer and placed me into a mood of creative thinking. What I thought was…
“I’d really like to engage in some serious fun collaborations with other artists I know.”
And I knew just the person I wanted to contact for my first collaboration. In fact, I’d already stepped out and did a ‘silent-collaboration’ on a piece of this artist’s work.
Diane Michelin, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada was the first recipient of a collaborative invitation.
Diane had placed on her Facebook page – around the first of January 2010 – an image that immediately struck me by the coloration, composition and characterization of one of my favorite outdoor passions (fly-fishing) and point-of-pursuit: the brook trout (char).
I composed a ‘comment’ on Diane’s Facebook that included a presentation – unfortunately no longer available online – in which I invoked verbal liberty of assigning the name “Streamside”, to the print. The forwardness was also liberally showered in a wide variety of complimentary, ‘sides’.
That verbal jousting triggered more ideas.
A few minutes later a private message landed in Diane’s Facebook mailbox, waving, as an offering, the following proposal.
I see you’re doing a ‘self-challenge’ of a painting a week .. a bit of Jeff Kennedy here, eh?
How ’bout adding a bit of Yin-Yang to the mix.
– You do a painting (Yin)
– release it to Facebook and point to it as your ‘Yin’ – and
– within 3 days I do a creative -something- (Yang) – in compliment
You produce your visual image -whatever it will be- and I’ll produce a story, poem, haiku, or other ‘visual’ to compliment (in true Yang principle), and then I will post it on my O’fieldstream Facebook, OOAK Digital Gallery and here, on the Creative Exponential Continuum site, with links to your image, within 3 days of your initial posting.
In essence a Yang, to the Yin of your painting.
As an example:
To your most recent display (not sure of the ‘name’ or ‘title’ of the painting) – the brook trout at brook-side, w/ fly-rod+reel on stones, I submit the following Haiku and short-story, for your review.
Whadaya think? “. )
To show Diane I was serious, I also sent her two ‘samples’ of my YANG to her YIN, with the print, “Streamside”.
One was a traditional Haiku, the other a short-story in a news-story-report writing style of a fictional incident reported in the fictional pages of a very real Vancouver BC newspaper.
Diane’s response was more than I could have hoped for. She was ecstatic about the idea.
Her enthusiasm for my proposal spurred me on. The ripples were now beginning to look a lot like a wave!
As of this posting, the goal is to obtain at least one collaboration – during 2010 – between myself and another ‘artist’ – on each of the seven continents. I’ve already connected with 4 Continents and am working on 2 of the remaining three! Antarctica, you’re in my sights!
This site –The Creative Exponential Continuum – will become a running record – and gallery – of the collaborative creations taken on and hopefully completed in 2010.
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Again, thank you and we look forward to your visits and comments.
Founder of Creative Exponential Continuum