Do you suffer from creative impatience? When an idea strikes, do you want to know, immediately, what it will look, sound or feel like? Cutting corners rarely saves time in the long run. But…
This is something with which I grapple all the time. Often, I will be so excited by an idea that I fail to do the proper groundwork to enable its satisfactory completion. However, that does not mean you should resist these impulses when they occur. Quite the opposite.
Back to The Beginning
To give an example, I have recently been working on some video clips from a live performance. Having decided to put this footage online in episodes, I set about marrying the audio and video. As per usual, the desire to get this ‘out there’ somewhat overtook the necessity to pay attention to detail. Which has meant that, to some extent, I have had to go back to the beginning.
I was putting the finished clips together when I noticed a nasty background noise was compromising the sound. So, I set about rectifying this within each clip. But then I realised it would be better to fix the original audio before separating into individual segments. Which, had I been paying attention, could have been done at the start.
Log Your Progress
However, some things only become apparent when viewed (heard/felt/etc.) in context. And that context may not always exist until we are already into the creative process. So, frustrating as it is, sometimes you just need to do some unpicking in order to refine your creation.
This highlights the need for keeping a log of your progress. Whatever the medium, it should be possible to record the steps you have taken. This is useful on several levels.
You may be creating something you would like to reproduce or adapt at a later date. You may wish to teach others your methods, so they can learn from your experience. Or, you may need to go back and rectify a mistake, before then rebuilding what you had achieved.
Not Such a Bad Thing
Fortunately, in this digital age, it is easier than ever to capture the steps taken. And, if you are working within the digital realm itself, you can simply undo and redo specific actions. You can also save alternative versions of your work. So, experiments may be made without losing the original draft.
Therefore, whilst attention to detail may save time in the long run, the odd rush of creative impatience is not necessarily such a bad thing. We all know that many of our best creations are essentially the result of mistakes. And license to make mistakes is fundamental to the creative process.
Permission to Risk
Where children are concerned, this freedom is key to the whole creative experience. Whereas they are subject to myriad rules and restrictions – imposed, of course, for their own good – being allowed to break free from such constraints is liberating. And knowing that it’s OK to get things ‘wrong’ leads to far greater creative possibilities.
We all crave a degree of certainty in our lives. And we all know this will invariably be thwarted, one way or another. A major benefit of creative pursuits is giving ourselves permission to take risk within a safe environment. Safety is, of course, very important when working with pupils. So, allowing a form of risk in which there is no real danger is a joy for both pupil and teacher.
Doing in Reverse
Though it may sometimes mean unpicking what had taken many hours to achieve, the learning this provides is invaluable. Indeed, the act of undoing something is merely ‘doing’ in reverse. So, we then benefit from double the experience!
Or am I just excusing myself for being sloppy?