Good process or good result?
One week ago, my wife asked me to make face masks for the kids and ourselves. I searched on youtube and found a nice tutorial to follow and the result was quite beautiful. When I showed the result, some of my friends commented by saying ’how creative is this’. It made me reflect on what defines creativity and why it is important element in cultivation of awareness.
Any creation process contains technical/practical aspects and creative aspects. To make those masks, I needed to know how to operate a sewing machine and to have the right skill set and technique to make things right. In the process I had very limited amount of choices to make. Mainly I had to choose the materials - which fabric to use, which kind of elastic band and which thread colour will be suitable.
The act of taking choices and questioning those choices, is where we express our creative force, where we confront our values that drive us to act. And therefore, we can argue that there is a distinct difference between an artistic creation and functional creation. Even more, that artistic creation is the ultimate creativity, as art making questions the presuppositions of the very process itself.
In the sewing example, I didn’t question if I should place the sewing machine upside down or if I should use water instead of fabric as it clearly doesn’t make any sense. The basic premises of sewing has clear boundaries and only if you play by the rules, you will finish with an actual face mask.
But the art landscape is much wider and its borders can be stretched and even broken. We can actually be upside down while sewing a piece of water… But what the point of losing all sense? It is in the very moment where we reflect on the values that drive our choices, that we get the chance to expand our awareness on ourselves. We can notice why we justify certain things over others and what are the base for the hierarchical structures we build. And if we are ‘lucky’, we might even be able to recognise the foundation of our values and its context.
It can happen spontaneously but more probable is to actively make it part of your process. And the actual result has zero importance in relation to the above. Not to undervalue the result of whatever you create, as it is very important. But you can be sure that if you fail to create something magnificent, you didn’t waste your time.
And no matter in what kind of creation you find yourself in, this is the proper way to manifest the common phrase that ‘the important thing is the process and not the result’.