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April 07, 2008


Mark Randall Kilburn

Interesting writings Lisa!

Constant process analysis and keeping a very high level of awareness is great but not always necessary for me. I normally
do the process in my mind and then gather tools and materials, start work and then 100 hours later I have a metal sculpture.
Sometimes I adjust "in process" and sometimes I do not. I think of the old analogy from youth, which is " If you have to drive from L.A. to Las Vegas what car would you choose, a Honda Civic or Ferarri?

A great way to understand process vs end result would be the practice of Tai Chi. While you must concentrate on the form, at the same time you must keep an awareness of the application of the form.


Very good writing Lisa!
It's funny how as a composer and musician process seems to continue till the actual work is ready. It's like an ongoing adventure and sometimes the original idea might vary a little because of the "open" process if you might call it that way. But as a photographer I just seem to do the process in my mind just before shooting the photo.Maybe the process is already made as soon as I see the target for the photo. Mark Randall Kilburn's thoughts about process and Tai Chi is very interesting too.

Gilbert Boro

Great idea Lisa,

I believe the success of your INK article is your ability to listen,
intellectually collaborate and to make difficult ideas understandable to the public.

Process, as seen in the comments above is different for all creative people. For me it is a a complete set of actions and a method of creating prior to development of a sculpture. What ever the process for me is, it is ever changing as the work develops. The originating thought, dream, sketch or discussion of the work, it develops over time.
For others it is an event and can be instantly converted into art. How ever we work we need to have our privacy and avoid the static found in today's world. There is the possibility of too much information and communication for true creativity.


Gil, Thank you for such a lovely compliment and for continuing to share your thoughts on process. You have made my day... in fact, you may have "made my week." L~

The Dan Ward

The "business process management" crowd has sort of hijacked the word "process" and turned it into something I find quite distasteful - and something altogether different than the interesting, beautiful and creative sense in which you're using the word.

But since I live & work in a more industrial environment, I tend to avoid using the word process, because in my context and environment, it is so loaded. In my search for a substitute, I've settled on "journey," as in "the journey of design" (instead of the more common "design process").

Process and journey are similar. A process it a series of steps. A journey is also a series of steps. The difference is that a journey is not done in a tightly controlled environment and is different each time, even if we continue to arrive at the same eventual destination (i.e. produce a piece of art, etc). But I think journey is more organic. It is something you undertake and design yourself, it has connotations of exploration, movement and initiative. A process, at least in my context, tends to be handed to you from on high, with a focus on repeatability and standardization.

But when I say journey, I mean much the same thing you seemed to say about process. The process you described sounds to me a lot like craft, mastery, mental focus / awareness / mindfulness of how we create things. It's about discovering your own "best practices" and not just imitating the "best practices" of others. That's the good kind of process...

dave gilly gilstein

I like talking about creative process, but It is really something I feel. It's a physical transformation. The process is what I get hooked on. The process is the drug of creativity.
It's like starting up my car on a cold morning. It's an effort at first. It sounds rough and it feels slow, with a few stops and starts again. Finally we are on our way and little by little the heat kicks in and I'm feeling more comfortable. Once I hit cruising speed, turn off the phone, and turn up the music. I am IN THE ZONE. The hair is up on the back of my neck and I'm 10 miles over the speed limit. I feel like every move I make is the right one and I don't remember how I got from point A to point B. I am truly IN THE MOMENT. It's the best feeling. But...It can also go away just as quickly. Any red light, bump in the road or someone cutting me off -stops the process. You doubt every move you make and slow way down. If your lucky, you get to start it all up again. It's great to finally get to your destination, but if it was a great ride to get there, well thats the way to go!

Mark Randal Kilburn

Process, Rythym, groove.
Journey...I do like .. I like Journey. Flow is another way to describe it
Like the old school JKD people used to say.



David Black

Dear Lisa,

Thanks for writing Considering Process! Many designers, artists, writers and actors
believe that if they talk about process they will lose the magic of what they are doing.
A few years ago I saw an actress portray an angry bag lady in a play. Afterwards when I asked her how she was able to get so angry on the stage she said, "David, I only discuss those things with my therapist!"

I believe as you and Gilbert Boro do that understanding process is an essential part of being an artist. When you write that you have never been able to “embrace it” you are acknowledging its importance. Your thought that two of your talents, design and writing, each make use of a different process already shows an understanding of the subject.

As a self taught artist when I began painting I had no idea what I was doing or why I was doing it. It was only when I began talking about process with other artists that I began to develop ideas about my own creative core. Sharing thoughts about the creative process is the best way to make this happen just as you have done with your writing.

My own process centers around a never ending search for ways to let things happen. This means not having any expectations about how a painting will turn out. In the end whatever process we use it should be forgotten while we are doing it. As Martha Graham said, “Once you leap into the air there should only be the feeling of enjoyment. If you start thinking of the position your leg should be in when you land, you will end up breaking your foot.”

David Black

Mark Randall Kilburn

I have been in situations where I was at a loss for creative inspiration and I then engaged in a lot of mental gymnastics to compensate for this lack of flow. Now,
I refuse to make art just to satisfy a quota, be it mine or anyone else's.
Quantity or Quality???? I am not a production facility and I have always said I do not want to make TWO of anything.
So, now, I focus on quality of design and construction. Because at the opening of a show, under the very bright gallery lights THERE ARE NO EXCUSES!!


Wow... Well said Mark!

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