Fuck The Muse

a series of articles on creative process @ The Operating System

I’ve been told that you can’t teach creativity, but I disagree. We think of creativity as sudden, sexy, inexplicable moments of inspiration — ignoring the hard work that makes those moments possible.

The Art of Control

Taking control of your art isn’t a matter of brute force. You have to let go, explore, take risks, and throw yourself off-balance. A good process will give you that freedom, while nudging you in the right direction.

Class Overview

I break the creative process down into five major steps. We’ll look at each one in it’s own post:

  1. Define the Seed: What’s the idea, question, or hypothesis?
  2. Explore: Reasearch, gather, and create the materials.
  3. Organize: Outline the structure, or impose one.
  4. Draft: Compile a complete first draft.
  5. Revise: Consider, critique, and edit as needed.

There’s more than one way to skin the walrus, and each project will call for unique adjustments, but the same basic tools are needed to create genre fiction, absurdest drama, lyric poetry, or conceptual installation art.

This isn’t paint-by-numbers — it’s a toolkit and a way of thinking. What you do with it is up to you.

Credit Where Due

My approach is influenced most heavily by Anne Bogart’s Viewpoints, Chuck Mee’s (re)making project, The LIDA Project’s “bucketing”, Agile web development and graphic design processes, scientific method, Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon, Everything is a Remix by Kirby Ferguson, Don Fry’s Writing Your Way, queer theory, and many years of working with ensemble theaters and bands.

7 ‘fuck the muse’ episodes

2013

2012