Inductive Creativity

well travelled, photograph

“One does not stand still looking for a path. One walks; and as one walks, a path comes into being.”

– Mas Kodani

Often as artists we reach a standstill when we feel we’ve lost our way.

One tendency is to stop working because we know that what we’re doing is not right for us. We feel the need to stop doing what is frustrating or not rewarding. We can easily get blocked and lapse into inactivity.

I have found that it is best to keep working even when I feel rudderless. What eventually emerges from this seemingly random activity is meaning.

It’s a kind of artistic inductive reasoning, whereby we reach the truth through observation. I think it is much less fruitful to take a deductive approach to creativity – to try to manifest our artistic expression from some higher rule or law.

The more we try, the more we experiment, the more steps we take – the greater the chance that our path will emerge. Remember this when you next feel stuck, lost or uninspired. Just keep walking, keep observing what you find and suddenly you will find that you are, indeed, on a path.

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6 responses to “Inductive Creativity

  1. First, beautiful photograph– I love the image of well traveled, well used suitcases– as I love to read travel memoirs and did some travel myself this year. Second, I used to have blocks and hesitations and worries that would freeze me up periods but the past few years I myself found that if I just keep working and experimenting– the light the end of the tunnel comes into view.

  2. Joyce

    Thank you! I do aim to invite contemplation – too often our busy lives cause us to forget why we do what we do and this blog is one way I force myself to pause now and again to do some thinking.

  3. What a stunning image, Bob! Cases such as these, and the beautiful manner in which you have captured them, evoke such a romanticism within me, and perfectly encapsulate what I love about being on the road and absorbing the sights and sounds of different places and cultures. It is often said, is it not, that the journey is the destination, and this image conveys that perfectly.

    The ‘keep working’ philosophy has merit. I like to think of it as momentum. Keep on keepin’ on, and your natural momentum will inevitably move you forward. It’s like driving in snow. If you stop you’re screwed, but a steady pace will see you through.

    • Kev

      I’m not surprised you relate so well to these suitcases, given your “road warrior” status! Hopefully your luggage is in better shape than these.

      I like the snow analogy – I’ll have to remember that one!

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