Thursday, February 14, 2013

Feed the Mix Monster (CD Part 3)

It's rather profound to realize that we are all just a big bundle of habits. Some of which we can remember developing, but so many that make up our daily reactions formed at a time when we where too young to perceive such things.

When it comes to art or any other profession, understanding habit and how it's formed can work as a score multiplier to your skills. Because what is a skill anyway then a cultivated habit?

Check this book out, It will make you say "Whaaa?"  and also embarrass you to understand how many times you've been fooled by yourself and by those who use this knowledge to sell stuff to you. The Power of Habit.

(This is part 3 of my series on Cognitive Dissonance. You should try to read the other two or you can just read this one and pretend like you know what's going on. Your choice)

Feed the Mix Monster (what does it mean?)

Still working on this thing. Goddamn it's hard.
Of the three options I list in Cognitive Dissonance, the final option was innovation. You may think that this is the logical choice for any artist (especially those in the entertainment field). But it's not as simple as wishing to innovate new ideas. Understanding where new ideas come from, and how they can be encouraged to take place in the brain, can give you a significant leg up when learning to innovate.

First, lets discuss what it means to innovate. Good innovation is not an idea that comes out of the wild blue yonder, but instead an idea that take something that exists already and builds upon it. It's not innovative to suggest a new way to make baby bibs when you work for GM. Innovations in that environment will be exclusively transportation based.

Next part of the iteration process for the Tech Mechanic character
Next, it's important to note that good innovation has the interesting quality of causing mass epiphany. When the idea is introduced to the world, the general reaction will be "Oh my god yes, why haven't we thought of this already?" So how does this convey to art?

In my last post I discussed how the creative artist has a unique brain in the fact that it draws many neural connections to multiple parts of the brain that often work in isolation. Because of this, we artists need to realize that in order to innovate effectively we need to feed our brain all sorts of information that it can assimilate and use make new connections for us. Essentially to do this we must become students of the world, taking in all information around us (books, movies, nature, locations, science, history, food, life, etc.) so that our minds can mix it up like a DJ.

Couple this with the fact that most people live in a state of dissonance reduction, it becomes clear that most creative ideas are simply new innovations on old ideas. This is not bad. This helps the people around you follow the idea and not reject it outright because of how alien it is to their own ideas. The game is to show people something they've already seen but from a new angle.

I like to think of this whole process as "Feeding the Mix Monster." Think of your creativity like a monster that lives inside your head. You shouldn't try to harness your creativity like a horse which can repress your imagination. Instead let it roam free in the forest of your mind. Feed it information, give it things to play with, and be sure to give it plenty of exercise. Before long you will be amazed at the fun stuff it comes up with.

Oh, and be sure to feed your physical mind too. Eat a banana, or maybe try something you haven't tried before. After all, it's your prerogative as a student of the world.

A thing I painted for a job interview
I'm not comfortable with this style yet, so I'm brushing up.

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