Wasting Time…

“Creativity is the residue of time wasted.”

– Albert Einstein

I’ll admit it, I’m the impatient type. I am always trying to figure out how to get more done in less time and have a really hard time “doing nothing”. Vacations are a problem…

When I create art, even if I am learning something new and should have little expectation of competence, I am disappointed if I end up with work that gets tossed. I feel like I’m wasting my precious time.

But this “wasted time” is the breeding ground of creativity. All that effort, even if it seems to produce nothing, is providing fuel for the engine of the mind and soul. This engine is always churning away and periodically produces something creative. But without the fuel of our efforts all along the way, there would be no creative product.

Einstein is, of course, being facetious – the time isn’t being wasted. If we could just remind ourselves of this at the end of an artistic effort that has not met our expectations. Or if we could just alter those expectations…

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2 responses to “Wasting Time…

  1. I totally agree with you Bob, and your words, especially the vocabulary and kind of metaphor you choose to express your thought exactly correspond to my way of thinking and speaking about “our wasted time”.
    In fact when I paint, I never expect something (except of course when it is a commission, then I expect everything and the best at once!!!). I just do it. I even rarely judge the result, i put it away very fast when it is finished and go to the next. i really enjoy the process of painting and I am really not so bothered about the result. I have always problems when Kevin is asking “if I have done some good stuff” when I come back from sketching, i rarely know… and don’t want to know!
    But I know that each sketch, each painting is “providing fuel for mind and soul”. i don;t care where I go with this fuel, I even don’t care about the traffic rule, I probably don’t even deserve a driving licence… but i am driving so fast that they can’t catch me! 🙂

    Yes Bob, let us simply be creative, paint, make photos, write, whatever, just for the sake and the pleasure of it. Id there really something better to do with our so precious time?

    (But to be honest i exactly know this feeling of wasted time, and I totally hate it!!!!)

    Extraordinary image by the way! I often forget to comment your visual work, diving too deep into your words!

  2. Great quote from you here,

    “But this “wasted time” is the breeding ground of creativity. All that effort, even if it seems to produce nothing, is providing fuel for the engine of the mind and soul,…”

    I could not agree more. Creating experimentally doesn’t always produce ‘useful’ results but it is indeed a stomping grounds of sorts for the mind. I have sketchbooks full of lots of messy weird ‘unsuccusful’ doodles, but I go through and pick my favorites and these become ‘successful’ (hopefully anyways) paintings.

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