Saturday, February 11, 2012

Creative Wisdom from Pixar's John Lasseter 2 of 7

John Lasseter’s 7 Points (by way of Scribble Junkies)
2. Remember the first laugh.
“A big problem in the creative process is related to the enhancement of your ideas. Revising, retouching, refining is very important, but it carries a danger. If you have a story, a joke, a thought, which you write down, it loses its effect over time. It wears itself out. When you hear a joke for the second time you still laugh heartily, on the third or fourth occasion already less so, and when you hear it the hundredth time, you hate it.”
“I say to my authors: ‘Take notice of the first laugh, write it down if necessary. This may at times be bothersome, but it is important. Many times, good things got lost because people could not remember anymore how it felt when they heard the idea for the first time.”

To me this means keep your ideas fresh. 
How? It's probably different for every artist.
I keep a sketchbook.
  • Write down all of your thoughts and ideas and inspirations.
  • Journal a bit to capture your thought processes.
  • Include test samples for when you are trying out new techniques.

When you get too close to a piece you're working on, gain some distance.

  • Put it away for a day or two - there is an art fairy that visits at night an makes things look good again.
  • Put it on the wall, walk as far away as you can before turning to view it.
  • Turn the piece upside down or look at in in a mirror.
  • Go back to your sketchbook and remember what it was you loved about it at the beginning.
How do you keep your ideas fresh?


Lisa Chin said...

I usually need to put it away for a bit and then come back to it to love it again. Looking back at the original idea is often a great idea as I can sometimes get too carried away in adding too much.

Charlotte Scott said...

Yes, put it away! I don't mind UFO's because when I get them out again I can often see what caused me to put them away - and a way to fix it too. And if I still dislike them/unsatisfied with them, I am more removed and can give away/throw away/cut up and reuse with much more ease.