Lots of artists want to know how you get copious ideas so that you can make many fine pictures.  Certainly the habit of drawing and painting often makes it more likely that you’ll gain skill and confidence.  By often looking closely and making many eye-hand decisions, the more direct your work can become.  So how do you maximize the conditions to lead toward a prodigious creativity? 

One method is to revisit and rework existing images (like this one, which I posted previously).  And another secret is to get yourself a “hands-free” telephone device (or an intercom phone device) and make virtues of necessity.  That, friends, is just what I did today.  And I’m ready to share my secret with you. 

If you’re like me, you sometimes have phone calls you need to make that you’d prefer to postpone indefinitely!  I needed to consult a utility company about a billing question, and some other “service providers” about some other matters.  I dragged my feet as much as I could risk doing financially until I had an ephipany and also had possession my new “hands free” device.  [Note this procedure will also work with regular cell phones or “land line” phones but you risk a sore neck.]

I called the utility company’s handy “toll-free” number whereupon I was greeted by a warm sounding, fake, mechanical voice — a querulous fellow, he asked me ever so many questions to which I was either to reply in words or tap a number on the key pad.  (I observe with great interest that as the human population swells, it nonetheless becomes more and more difficult and complicated to locate an actual human being who works at a utility company with whom one can genially converse.)

Anyway,  while this nice mechanical fellow paraded before my attentive ears ever so many numerical options — push “1” for this, and “2” for that and “2,544” for something else, I waited expectantly, hopeful for that one special option, that of  “talking to a fellow human being,” a living member of my same species!  I was even so bold to say I wanted “to talk to a human being,” for saying words and phrases is also a way of interacting with this chipper mechanical guy.  But to that request, he replied, “I’m sorry I don’t recognize that option.  Would you like to make another choice?”

Fortunately, I am fluent in sales-speak, whereupon I asked to “speak to a customer service representative” and it worked!  He did try to talk me out of this elegant choice by pointing out that all their lines were experiencing “heavy traffic” and that I might have to wait until hell freezes over … maybe he used a different expression? — but that was the gist.  Resolute, though, I chose the infernal deep freeze option because I had …

… a secret weapon!  I had my drawing sitting in front of me where I could work steadily and I could listen to the chinky, musacky version of the Brandenburg Concerto that they play to amuse comatose callers waiting their turn in the phone queue.

Dear friends, how do I convey to you the sense of liberation I felt!  While I might have been proverbially beating my head against the sound barrier of the great telephone service representative’s “brick wall” of snub silence and canned music, I was instead adding new colors and ideas to my koi drawing!

A half hour passed before I was finally permitted to talk to the utility company’s coveted service representative (actual living being), but I was undaunted!  “Ooo, ooo! hang on one moment, please could you? while I just add this highlight here to the koi’s left eye ….”

The only sad news to report (other than that they are going to be taking money out of my pocket and putting into theirs again) is that I got through the entire “put on hold” experience so quickly!  The first transaction lasted only about thirty minutes!  I really need to find some more monolithic, uncaring corporations to deal with so that I can be telephonically snubbed long enough to do more than make quick sketches!

But, friends, there’s a whole world of service providers out there!  And, they are all so dependably reluctant to allow you to converse with their insulated and carefully chaperoned employees!  So, I have great artistic hopes!

Yes, I do!
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2 thoughts on “Secret to Productive Creativity

  1. wow, this is an amazing piece!! I was looking for pictures of koi, and saw this, i thought it was a photo on the small picture that cam e up on the search until i saw the caption that it was a crayon drawing. I had to click on itto see it really was. YOu have a really woundrous talant, the way the water looks wet,like the koi are still circling around waiting for you to feed them. I really am impressed. This is one of the first times i have ever commented on anything, so i am very impressed:)

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