I was chatting with my mother (an artist) and mentioned an article I read about creativity, by Austin Kleon. (Mom: “Oh, the Steal Like an Artist guy!”) I suspected she wouldn’t care for his book or his approach, and was delighted to discover the opposite—she doesn’t agree with everything, but praised his work, and rereads it every so often, always discovering new gems. (I do the same thing, but I find her statement more validating, since she is a Real Artist. LOL)
We discussed keeping an intentionally messy studio, and how ideas can emerge out of the chaos and juxtaposition. I have a collection of imagery, torn from magazines and other things (originally for collage projects), which became a box of inspiring randomness. I dip into it from time to time, usually looking for one thing, finding something else—often years after depositing it. She keeps a similar file, for her artwork. We were amused to find we have the same process (genetics at work?)
We also agree—as the post later states—that tools and implements need to be organized. I’ve seen her frustrated, searching for a particular tube of paint; similarly, I’m irritated when a tool in my jewelry workshop goes missing, or when my mentor’s shop is particularly unkempt. (Which is often, of late, but he swears he’s cleaning up. Uh-huh.)
It’s an interesting dichotomy. Don’t waste time finding your tools, to execute the idea… but do “waste” time finding the idea.