Monday, February 20, 2012

the creative process continues...

Soul Expression's first 15-day Art-Making Challenge Exhibit was great fun and was officially the last stage of the challenge's creative process. Of course, the creative process is not truly linear, yet to guide our own creative process it is helpful to have a model. There are many models and theories how creativity happens and how we can manage it; most of them share similar elements with different titles. Soul Expression uses Coeleen Kiebert's five stages of the creative process which are:
1. Statement of Intention
2. Gathering
3. Explosion
4. Assimilation
5. Cognition

Everyone who joined in our first challenge started with the statement of intention -- the first step was to commit to participate in the challenge. Then the artists began gathering -- generating ideas and energy, along with materials and tools. The third stage is the explosion of the art-making happening -- all of a sudden the ideas, energy and resources all come together. 

Toni's collages, iris folding and paintings at the Challenge Exhibit
Assimilation is the stage many artists forget, ignore, or hurry. This step is when we reflect on what we created and prepare for what is next. I try to take time to write down in my "art journal" what I enjoyed and learned about the process, along with recording the materials I used.

Most participants responded to a short questionnaire about their process which encouraged assimilation. Here are insights from two artists:  
During the 15-day Challenge, what hindered your process or frustrated you? 
In the beginning, people interrupted me... yet I forged forward and did not allow the interruptions to bother me. 
What helped your process or supported you during the Challenge?
What made a huge difference once I got into the process was setting up my art table in the living room. Once I started, I didn't put anything away until after completing the challenge.

Julie's collages, memory box and jewelry at the Challenge Exhibit

Cognition, the final stage, is when the artist presents their creations to the community and opens up to comments from others. Some times the art takes on new meaning or becomes clearer when it is shared. Also inspiration for the next creative experience often comes from the feedback. It is not at the end of every project that an exhibition is held -- which was very special attribute of Soul Expression's 15-day Art Making Challenge. To prepare for an exhibit takes some thought and work, which I believe we are all looking forward to doing again -- with the next Art-Making Challenge! The creative process continues... 

Belinda's photographs at the Challenge Exhibit

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