Creative Inspiration | Marwencol

If I were a poet and I could feel the beating drum
Just behind the material world
I’d give word to mystery
I’d name the things in every heart

-Surface of Things | Hughes & Wagner

I appreciate genius wherever I find it and often it’s found in some dark corners. The most creative people are often broken in both peculiar and obvious ways; think Kurt Cobain.

I for one believe we are all broken and some of us hide it better than most, those who are in touch with their brokeness can reach into that pain and pull out beauty. That does not mean we overcome that pain, I wish that were the case. I wish creating out of pain would cure the very pain that inspired that pain.

Marwencol is the story of art out of pain:

“After being beaten into a brain-damaging coma by five men outside a bar, Mark builds a 1/6th scale World War II-era town in his backyard. Mark populates the town he dubs “Marwencol” with dolls representing his friends and family and creates life-like photographs detailing the town’s many relationships and dramas.”

Mark was an artist prior to the assault that changed his life and made his hands unsteady to the where he could no longer draw the way he used to.

Why Marwencol inspired me

All too often we fail to recognize we are one moment away from the edge of madness/failure/bankruptcy/{insert fear} as creatives and I think we surpress creative energy when we work to conform to the norms and definitions laid before us. Operating out of external expectations is paralyzing and the enemy of innovation. So go make something today because you love it and it gives you life…maybe share it with the world.

Some people hear their own inner voices with great clearness and live by what they hear. Such people become crazy or they become legend

- Jim Harrison

Quality Matters

I few days ago I talked about the difference between art and design and I think when we understand that concept the next step is realize that quality is the result of a solid workflow of art and design. When we are constantly stuck in the design phase, and not operating out of creative surplus, then we will almost always have to settle for ‘good enough’.¬†

True quality comes out of creative surplus wherein we have the margin to do our best work.

Art and Hope

The Rebecca Black situation got me thinking about quality art (art that isn’t primarily propaganda or product) and bad art. And, as my mind often does, I started dreaming about how art is often a window into both the creator’s spirituality and the spirituality of the consumer of that art.

The quality and heart of a given piece of art can give a glimpse of the hope that the artist has, whatever system of belief they hold.

This whole thought process was happening this morning while I was going through my morning routine of showering and all that. I had set my iTunes to ‘shuffle all’ so it was randomly playing through all the music that I own (200 GB) and at the peak if this epiphany a track came on from an album that came out in 1989. It’s not a Christian album, far from it in fact, but it literally is one of my favorite albums of all time. It is far from¬†propaganda¬†and the hope that comes fourth from the artist is thick and piercing, even though I disagree with that hope.

I thought to myself as I have many times; “Why is Christian music so weak in terms of where it hits me?” and, “Why is it so watered down, smoothed out and otherwise disinfected?”

The song ended (it was a short punk rock song) and I kid you not a track from a 1990 Christian album came on and I laughed out loud. I’m pretty sure the lyric ‘cold as ice’ was used several times.

What kind of hope do we display when we create or consume bad art that is simply propaganda and/or product?

On The Web | Ashes and Snow

Ashes and Snow“The whales do not sing because they have an answer, they sing because they have a song”

Ashes and Snow is one of my favorite websites on the web. You have to experience it. It’s not a website but an experience. Sometimes I will project it on the wall at parties so that people can cruise through it. If you like art and funky stuff, give it a look. []

Go to the site – click on ‘enhanced experience‘ – when the pop up loads, click on ‘explore‘. Then just go with it.

If your internet connection is whack, you will have to wait a minute.

[tags]ashes and snow, art[/tags]