Monday, 11 August 2014

Where has our imagination gone?

Living in the digital age and having billions of images, information and inspiration available at the click of a mouse, are we forgetting how to imagine?Screaming man
How often do we head to Pinterest when we are trying to think how to do something, or what to make? Be it food, craftwork, painting, design, fashion (and almost everything else.. ) I must admit, i am regularly there! I head straight for Google, Youtube, Pinterest in a flash to get to an idea quicker than ever. I must admit that sometimes I wonder how we coped without it. Did we spend hours with our heads in books trying to find some spark inside? It seems like a lifetime ago. And is this an acceptable source of ideas? Sometimes it feels like cheating.
The last few weeks I have been thinking deeply about this; “where has our imagination gone?”.
There is SO much information available within seconds that it almost seems silly to waste time imagining something for yourself. How do we feel about this sharing of information, ideas and concepts? and how do we make time and mental space to be creative, free from the online noise?
I’m primarily a portrait artist so the route to my inspiration is generally a very simple and direct one. I work directly with the source and find that through the course of creating, i am able to draw (excuse the pun) something out of myself and the artwork. But do i allow myself to venture into the unknown enough? No, probably not. This has many factors and time is certainly one of them, so if i am looking to do something different, rather than spending months developing a new technique, style etc, i can just look online for how-to guides and general inspiration. I must admit that i feel as though i have just done confession!
So is this such a bad thing and does it mean that i have lost my imagination?
I certainly find it difficult to get outside of my comfort zone especially when using a new medium and if i don’t have access to the internet to search for inspiration, i do get a bit panicked. It seems that only when i am away on holiday and far, far away from my computer or without internet/3G access from my smart phone, that i finally find myself getting really organically inspired.
I guess it’s just an adjustment and one that, with conscious effort, can be managed. We need to strike a balance with the right measures of;

Own space and mental freedom + shared online concepts and inspiration.

It’s a difficult balancing act, but one that many artists and makers are now party to. And really, should we feel like we are cheating or that our ideas are being stolen? Personally, I think we should feel both privileged to have access to so much information and proud to be able to offer others inspiration.
So… “where has our imagination gone?” I think that through sharing our ideas and concepts we can help further each other’s imagination – as long as we allow ourselves some time away from our computers to use our own imagination too!

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