Saturday, July 24, 2010

Beauty Is In The Making

Is creativity a means to an end? Or is the process the point?

I recently heard someone say, “Creativity for the sake of reaching a production goal is factory work.” The question I have been asking is, “Do we ever really create just for the sake of creativity?”
When I sit down to write a song I often find my mind jumping past the writing process to the part where I am recording and releasing the song. I begin to fantasize about how the song will be received and what accolades I will win as a result. This is my narcissism. But do I need to be certain of the result to be able to engage in the process? I believe there are two things that keep us from engaging in an unfettered creative flow.

One | We live in an outcome-based, goal-oriented society. This is not inherently bad, but it can have negative effects when trying to create something completely original with no limitations on what direction our creative process takes.

Two | We are generally undisciplined when it comes to our creative processes. I know this statement sounds perpendicular to the previous one, but I think it is important that we know our own tendencies in creative moments so well that we are able to be intentional about placing limitations on ourselves to achieve the desired result.

I am beginning to think that our primary goal should be to find joy in procedure, to find beauty in the making. When we submit our ideas to a self-imposed set of standards or a guiding creative philosophy, I think we will find far more joy and satisfaction with both the creative process and the resulting outcome than we’ve previously experienced.


  1. Good stuff. Sounds like you..analytical. Like the picture on the top of you. Fantasize is how you spell it. That's my feedback.

  2. If I may (pipe and tweed jacket). In 1 Corinthians 13:2 we hear "If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." To me this says that faith and love are need for each other to hold value, more so faith than love. Just as I think process and goal hold immense value in each other. God's creation is the pinnacle of creativity and we are allowed to go through that process in Genesis. Yet that process and creativity was not in it for itself, it had and remains to have a highly organized purpose. I believe and contend that for the most amount of gratification from the creative process there should be a goal. Even if the process now is to get you to a goal later on. If it is just the process of creativity, what value does it then hold? Why waste time on mindless activities?

  3. I know I create a lot of times to get to the end. Which in some scenario's it's important to do that, but sometimes I think it's healthy to create to enjoy the process which is probably deep down what we are usually most interested in.

  4. This is why I think so many of us are unhappy. We are waiting for "the end"....we want the final product. But we need to find satisfaction and joy in the process. God doesn't call us to merely complete a journey, he calls us to embark on a journey.