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create first, understand later

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

i am not an artist who plans her creations out beforehand, i struggle with storyboarding, and my preliminary sketches often look nothing like the finished product. i wondered if this was because of my ongoing battle with attention deficit or if it was because the art i create is something fluid and cannot be planned. i did a little research and found a few interesting tidbits about artists who have ADD.

ADD is a genetic, neurological disorder involving the brain functions that govern attention. Because an ADDer’s neurotransmitters aren’t functioning efficiently, a person who truly has ADD finds it difficult, if not impossible, to focus and sustain attention on activities that don’t interest them. Conversely, if an ADDer is very interested in something, he or she has great difficulty shifting attention away from the interest and onto something else. This is referred to as “hyper-focusing.” For example, if you had ADD, simply knowing that you should be interested in sending out marketing letters to galleries doesn’t mean that you are genuinely interested in this task. Therefore, you may find it very difficult to get started on researching gallery addresses, composing the letters, and getting them out.

i am realizing that not being able to plan and storyboard does not help me in classes where each step of my process is critiqued and monitored, like in my illustration class. but in classes like sculpture, i am able to listen to my body and hands and plan as i go. because only the finished product is critiqued. i enjoy going into a creation coma and spending hours and focusing on the task at hand, not thinking about what i am going to add or build next, because then when i "wake up," i can step back and say, "oooohhhhh that's why i made this." and be amazed and proud that i created something awesome without planning every step of the way. this is just my personal opinion on my own work, i just feel more genuine when i create and plan in the moment, like i am taking information straight from my brain and adding it onto my sculpture or illustration. when i have a blurry image of the final product in my mind, i am not afraid to experiment with materials and methods because i have no expectation of what the final "should" look like. create first and understand why you did it, after.

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