Creative Process

Creative Process – Essay by Joyce Martin Perz    July 2016

2016 June - Victoria signing a bookIn June 2016 I took a class from the quilting celebrity, Victoria Findlay Wolfe. The workshop was based on her popular book, “15 Minutes of Play”.

The  focus of her book and workshop is not skill-building, but rather on the creative process, a subject I have been interested in since art classes in the early 1980’s. (For the sake of this essay, my definition of process is the way an artist approaches their medium.)

In the 1990’s I heard the author John Irving speak in Chicago during his “A Widow for One Year” book tour. Some of the properties of storytelling are characters, setting and plot – beginning, middle and end. John Iring said his process for writing fiction was to write the ending first and then figure out how his characters go there.

In 1987 a documentary film gave us a glimpse into Jackson Pollock’s approach to paint and canvas. And a 2002 documentary filmed the painter Agnes Martin‘s meditative process applying pencil lines in stripes on a 6-foot square canvases with a twelve-inch ruler.

EDM (Electronic Dance Music) DJ’s like Calvin Harris, Tiësto and Steve Aoki approach composition through a process of digitally slicing and dicing existing musical pieces and re-mixing them for dance parties in Las Vegas and around the world.

Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s medium is fabric and in “15 Minutes of Play” she uses a similar slice-and-dice process.

Victoria urged us to step out of our comfort zone, suspend our aesthetic bais and invite the randomness of play to guide our process.  She gave us the opportunity to participate in her process and it was FUN…2016 June - Victoria Findlay Wolfe book signing




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