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Creative Balance

I have been drawing and sketching for over thirty years. The process of setting up for art, developing ideas, and letting the pens flow, really gets my juices flowing. Once that flow hits, and the music fades, hours disappear, manifesting imagination. This process is so familiar as to happen automatically, as a natural consequence of internal inspiration, artistic creativity, and the desire to express the subjective experience of my subconscious mind.

Another important aspect of exercising a creative lifestyle involves the observation and study of the natural world. Drawing from nature, or the practice of representational translationalism, serves this purpose well, as the concentration and discipline required to objectively witness and record visual experiences heightens the degree to which awareness and observation feed visual understanding. It is this comprehension of the visual world that enables the artist to effectively manipulate artistic elements to successfully convey the intended expression of creativity.

Alas, however true this may be, I find myself with a full schedule — barely enough time to stare at myself longingly in the hallway mirror — making it practically impossible to spend the time required to practice observation by drawing from nature. So let’s just quit. Forget about practicing, studying, and actually doing art.

Not even, man. I can’t quit. Like I said, I have been in the game far too long to quit halfway through. Thank the good Lord there is a simple solution for the severely chronically challenged post-modern artist: Can you say, “Digital Camera”? Indeed, possession of a digital camera is considered a crime under the following circumstances:

  1. You own a camera, but never use it.
  2. You own a camera, but only take touristic1 and/or mundane photos.
  3. You own a camera, but fail to see it as an opportunity to develop your artistic and observational skills.
  4. You have a camera, but you stole it.

Admittedly, I am guilty of realizing the above principles without actually putting them into practice. Well, okay, I used to carry my camera with me everywhere I went — diving into fits of photographic bliss wherever and whenever the urge hit me. However, just as I was beginning to increase my observational skillz, my attention, free time, and creative efforts were delightfully routed into the intriguing realm of website design. In fact, I found web design so rewarding and conducive to my hectic lifestyle, that virtually every other artistic discipline to which I am committed just fell away…

Finally, everything is changing. Although I treasure and romanticize the good ol’ days, when art was art and drugs were drugs, I must continually let go of the past to allow the future unfold according to God’s will. I am so glad to have finally established a foothold into the rapidly evolving world wide web. The internet may now serve as a medium by which to share the experience of artistic creativity and the fruits thereof. The trick here involves getting back into visual observation, manipulation, and expression while continuing to develop website design skills. Of course, the esoteric art of digital expression via the internet is in itself enough to accomplish this, so that a refocus of artistic energy on creating graphics, photographic expression, and even chunk collecting2 is both possible and desirable.

The plan then, is to dust off my trusty camera, sharpen my 2B pencil, and return to the ancient craft, the mystic practice of drawing, painting, and Photoshop. So let it be written, so let it be done.


  • 1 Touristic photos possess the depth and awareness of a drunken tourist.
  • 2 Chunks are collectible, visually appealing items of chance, inspiration and secrecy.

Jeff Starr
About the Author
Jeff Starr = Designer. Developer. Producer. Writer. Editor. Etc.
The Tao of WordPress: Become your own WordPress guru.
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Perishable Press is operated by Jeff Starr, a professional web developer and book author with two decades of experience. Here you will find posts about web development, WordPress, security, and more »
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