An Artist’s Thought Book: intriguing thoughts about the artistic process is a book of numbered aphorisms -- one-sentence to one-page accounts -- about different topics related to creativity. The book is divided into five chapters, each contains over 50 aphorisms, that will help the reader delve into the following areas: contemplating what it means to be an artist; finding one’s voice while singing or playing music; seeking one’s muse while painting; exploring language through poetry; and discovering the nature of creativity.
Below are some examples of aphorisms from all five of the chapters. For demonstration purposes, I give examples of (1) a reflective aphorism that attempts to get the reader to contemplate about what one is trying to achieve through their art; (2) a humorous aphorism that is thoughtful but fun; and (3) a practical aphorism that points the in direction of new techniques, styles and conceptualizations.
Art is getting your conscious mind out of the way of your unconscious processes; art is the craftsmanship of the unconscious.
When your work reveals that you are in an artistic rut, just call it your latest “period.”
Art is really about making commitments to your self.
The intentions of the song must be in the intonations of the singer.
He takes his singing lessons from the garbage disposal.
Try to find songs that fit your voice and tingle your soul.
A failed painting doesn’t mean you should quit, but you should be more radical.
To the painter, even rust is beautiful.
Don’t forget to occasionally take a step back from your work. Most people only get within arms length once they have been intrigued by something from a distance.
What makes language a poem is the deliberateness of each word.
My words turned into little punks after they dropped out of context.
Reading, Writing, Reflection are the three paths to improving one’s mind. If you want to sharpen your mind you have to rub it against something abrasive.
Creativity means constantly fighting habit.
Truth's most profound size is a kernel.
You can’t turn away a visit from the muse even though she shows up at inconvenient moments.
Chapter 3: Painting
Floundering is a part of art.
When people talk about their artistic process rarely do they reminisce about the bunch of duds that they produced in a row. It seems that masterpieces or hit records often overshadow the other songs on an album or the other paintings on the wall. Painting is often about disappointment. Often before a project is started, there is a sifting through ideas, a mental churning and gestation that must precede the beginning of most works. Certainly, artists can get on hot streaks where everything they sing, paint, or write turns to gold. But like a game of cards that type of streak is bound to end. Now comes the floundering. Even success requires that you reinvent yourself or otherwise you become an artistic caricature of yourself. One must take what one has gained from experience add that to one’s intuition so that one is able to both be patient during gestation but also be able to choose projects that extend one’s range as an artist and projects that continue to take appropriate risks.