Read Part One to see what this is all about.
Here’s my version of a flower. It looks something like a chrysanthemum, and I put a butterfly perched on top.
That’s actually what prompted (pun to be realized in a sec) this exercise.
Normally, I doodle in geometrics. I make mosaics of shapes layered upon shapes, most likely an influence of my childhood in the Middle East. Occasionally I end up with a flower, but it’s more like a daisy, or maybe a rose with linked arches forming the petals.
This time, though, I drew a large outer shape, drew a butterfly (deliberate representation of something specific), and then filled in the interior.
Why does how this particular doodle came about matter?
Well, it doesn’t. But what it did was get me thinking about creativity.
Why did I choose to doodle something outside of my normal script? Why this flower and not any other? Why did I add a butterfly?
Which brings me to the question, or rather questions, commonly asked writers:
The first is: Where do you get your ideas?
Well, for me, as I think I just demonstrated, my ideas are a cross between inspiration (the magical moment when something crystalizes into a recognizable form), and the analytical exploration of what both triggered that magical moment, and why this particular something came from it. So my questions to you are: What flower did you draw? Why did you choose the flower you did? Does it represent anything to you?
The second is not always asked, but often lingers in the back of both readers’ and writers’ minds: How can a specific prompt produce unique results?
This one you should be able to answer for yourself simply by looking at my drawing and comparing it to the others people have offered.
Maripat – http://www.mssluyter.com/posts/mars-great-doodle-challenge/
Karen – http://rainydaywrite.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/flowerdoodle.jpg
Note: If you didn’t get a chance before, feel free to join in now and post your link in the comments.
Are they all the same flower?
Are they all the same style?
Do they all even have the same elements?
This was a prompt exercise. The prompt was the concept of flower. However, how each person executed the flower, the tools each used, the image each tried to reproduce, those came from the individual person. They’ve done studies on twins and found certain choices, preferences, etc. might have a larger element than just upbringing, but those extra elements, plus the ones we’ve absorbed by living each day, form a framework unique to each of us.
The word “flower” is a standard one. Everyone knows what a flower is. Everyone can envision a flower when hearing the word, and often everyone assumes that vision is shared.
Creativity, inspiration, the muse, all that comes from articulating that vision. Fiction, memoir, poem, song, drawing, or really, any act of creation is an expression of the unique image each word or experience offers us. Everyone has creativity, tapped or untapped. Everyone has a unique vision. And doing prompts in drawing, writing, photography, song, or any other activity, allows us to share and explore those unique aspects of our experiences, and learn how others perceive what we often assume is a fixed object.
Now one more question, if you don’t mind, one that I plan to expand upon next week:
Did all the flowers trigger the same reaction?
You don’t have to answer these questions for me, though I’d be fascinated in seeing what you thought. The point is to trigger those questions for yourself, to tease your own mind into exploration. You never know where it might lead.
And that is the heart of creativity.
Check out the final installment: Part Three