Sunday, 21 August 2011

Beginners mind

There have been and continue to be discussions on the forums about design and developement.

In the past I have discussed beginners mind on both my blog and in the forums. The forum discussions generally end up in a debate that lose sight of the question and essence of what is trying to be discussed. So generally these days I tend to spend less time in them, not because I am being direspectful to those in the forums but there is generally a certain mind set that I use to fight against which eventually I found I could not change, so would rather spend my energies on my own work which is suffering through having too much to do. But things are soon going to give so I can concentrate on spending more time on making, but that is another subjctfor the future.

Then the penny dropped and I realised that it is not my place to change anything, but it is within every ones ability to develop if they so wish by observing, researching and connecting. All the information is out there with people willing to help if we only let them.

We all have this ability to be creative but generally lose most of it by the time we reach teenage years. Then we go through school being moulded by the system and our peers. If we choose a creative craft/art hopefully in further education the lecturer will help us to connect back with our creative side by stipping away the pre-programmed and pointing us in the direction to find the answers.

Some may be born and keep the natural ability of being creative and have an innate sence and talent. Unfortunately I was not one of those so have to work hard at it and continue to do so.

Then our ego's ( especially for men) come into play. " I know what I am doing", " no one can tell me anything about anything".

At this point the door closes and making just becomes an amalgamation of various techniques, which any one can learn with practice and time, they are not difficult at all.
People will have you believe that they are the "holy grail", mainly I believe because they do not want others to see through the ruse that keeps them secure. As they may not be able to acheive anything else beyond this.

This results in a "nice piece" of work, that lacks depth and any real interest for the viewer. Often I hear that technique is the most important aspect of turning/creating, " cods wallop".

Yes safe technique is important, once you acheive it then let go of it and move into other directions. (if you want to of course, there is nothing wrong with being satisfied with where you are at).

My 8 year old daughter Bella this morning was sat happily drawing in our conservatory while I relaxed reading a book.

She came and showed me the above picture which immediately made me smile. The parts/colours and shapes all connect, she even included an offset which draws the eye nicely away from the uniform design/outside circle.

When I told her that I thought it was brilliant and asked where she had gotten the idea from, she replied " I just wanted to play with circles".

Without concious thought Bella used five colours including the white of the paper. All of these have been connected to give a balance through-out the drawing.

So I could be flippant and say that design is "childs play". But there is far more going on than that. This leads back to Beginners Mind.

If any one is interested in understanding about this there is a vast amount of information on the internet and many good bookd. There are books related to this and design specifically and large corporations also adopt it as a way to get there highly paid employees to think out side of the box.

This morning my 8 year old daughter acheived in an instant what many of us try to acheive after years of work. Why because there are no preconceived ideas of how "things should be done", she just does it and if it does't work she does not get upset, but just starts again.

Some thing for me to think about. I may observe my daughters more to see what else I can learn.


George Foweraker said...

Hi Mark .
Knowing Bella and her fiery temperament I think she is probably an ideal candidate for being artistic if this makes any sense.Also the way she manipulates situations.She is a very bright girl.
Of the two girls she seems to be the most outgoing .You have two lovely girls in Beth and Bella not forgetting Liz you are a very lucky man.

Regards George

Mood Wood said...

Hi Mark,

You would do well to pay close attention to the actions of your kids, especially Bella.

There is a phrase that goes something like this, "give me a child between the ages of 3 and 7 and I will show you the adult".

For me, beginners mind is a bit like doodleing, you're only aware of what you're doing when you're actually doing it.

Take it easy knasher,