The help of a reason

Ok.. so part two of mental issues related to being creative…

Part of the reason I’m backing this one up so close to the last post is that I know I have lurkers, from at least two different other places. And I know those particular lurkers are all going to be emailing me, going “but you are creative! and *insert random project here* made me laugh, that has benefit!”

So yes…. there is purpose in some of the random things I do, but, usually, either it motivated the process, or something else motivated the process and whatever was useful happened along the way.

Which is awesome really for the end result…

But makes it less than helpful in the starting stages.

Lost yet?

Example:

Photoshop
(because I know it’s the example that would have been used in over half of the lurker messages)

What happened:

For months, I was playing around with photoshop, combining various pics in funny ways. There are huge communities on the web of folks into this… holding various competitions daily on themes and such. My favorite site was mechapixel, because it did well with masking owners of the entries.

And I entered. And entered. And not once did I even come remotely close to the top half of the competition.

While playing around in the process of this… I made a few silly pics involving someone from another website I was on. These were much lower quality than the others I was doing for entries.

In a bout of drama on the site, I posted them. Expecting more drama as a result… and because of the drama, not caring anymore about the defensiveness I expected as a result.

In probably the biggest shock of my life, they went over wonderfully… and actually, over the next week, completely overshadowed the drama I’d previously been ready to leave the site over.

So, by request, I made more. Again, lower quality. And again, went well, and again, more requests.

This went on… and on… and on… for more than 200 pictures over the spell of more than a year.

Not because of any high degree of skill or talent… just because they hit their newly found purpose.

Because I had a purpose for them… amusement of the site members.. having a purpose thus made the time spent justified… and gave motivation to the make them to meet that purpose, not just for the sake of making something.

And actually, following that, amusement of the site members has actually helped give a purpose for a whole variety of different projects… from avatars, to pumpkin carving, to apple carving (don’t ask), to cake shaping, to costume making, to the making of molds and products made with the molds, etc.

But being creative without that purpose from the beginning… is so much harder. So something without a useful end result in sight is so much harder to get started, or even justify trying.

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