“To begin with . . . “

What did your creative project begin with?

Here’s an even bigger question: What did your creativity begin with?

Did your creativity begin “with” anything?  [Can you remember your first creations?  If you’ve answered yes, I don’t believe you.]  What might creativity have begun with, for any creator?

Mistaken Beginnings

Creativity might begin with a mistake.  Our first creations might have been mistakes.  As we’re “young” and on our way in learning skills, techniques, and practices in a “new” creative pursuit, we of course think we’re being creative.  And, in a way, we are being creative (certainly, to the extent that learning is a creative activity).  But are we creating anything while we take those baby steps?  Maybe we create, for the first time, when we make mistakes that we can live with, i.e., mistakes that we can enjoy.

“I screwed that up, myself.  And I like it.”

Scratch Beginnings

Creativity might begin with nothing at all.  Start from scratch.  The blank page.  Jumping off the whatever and hoping for a net.   Etc.  While it could be that “the
first thing that pops into one’s head” is not really coming from nowhere (as probably most of us have a subconscious), once that “first thing” is scratched down, a creator can be off to the races.  As easy as that.  From random beginnings, great things may come.

Revisionist Beginnings

Creativity might begin in the revision of something that already exists, whether or not that something has any aesthetic value beforehand.  The very definition of creativity includes revision, but to begin a creative project by revision is different from the routine editing process of revision.  For example, to “begin with” revision, one might rewrite a favorite melody backwards.  Or write the next three verses of an existing poem.  Or, even, keep going on a visual work that was thought to be complete.  All of these are examples of new creative works, discrete from what existed beforehand.

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Copyright 2018 Justin Stark