Sleep On It

Installation by Jan Baker, RISD

Kyna Leski is a teacher, architect and artist. Her book, The Storm of Creativity, is a thoughtful journey through the process of bringing something into form that does not yet exist.

Leski does not take an authoritative approach, gratefully, and she leaves lots of room for her “map” to speak to the highly personal nature of creativity. But her categories—which are each a chapter—make for a good list of guide posts:

Creativity as Storm
Problem Making
Gathering and Tracking
Perceiving and Conceiving
Seeing Ahead

Here is a sampling from Leski on the subject of pausing:

You can treat your pause as the opposite of other stages of the creative process…Instead of connecting, take a break. Not tracking, but being tracked by the exact idea, answer, insight that you were seeking and tracking. Rather than gathering, let go. Instead of paying attention, be distracted. No propelling, but stopping the current motion of the process. “Sleep on it.”

I see pausing as an opportunity to see external to the frame you have already established, to allow new stimuli to enter the creative process, to prompt another idea. It is a chance to step off the reiterative track of logical decisions. It frees you from the concrete and reintroduces abstraction. It can be the chance to transform what you are working on through connections not previously made. By stopping, for whatever length of time, you weaken your willful grip, and can become more open and more open minded.

That’s good material for my week away from the studio.

Thank you to my friend Jan Baker for sending me this book.

3 Replies to “Sleep On It”

  1. i have certainly found that stepping away from my instrument for a while (till it has dust on it sometimes!) or from a translation i’m doing ‘works’… aside from cutting through the (misguided) feeling that one ‘has’ to be doing this for some reason or another, it freshens one’s appreciation of what one does do when when picks it up again for the real reason that one does, indeed, ‘have’ to do it, but not for any reason that comes from outside 🙂

  2. One could almost create a poem from that list.

  3. This looks interesting, relevant for my practice, and readable! The only down side(which I will live with 😉 ) is ordering and adding another worthwhile book to growing “must read” pile…

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