Saturday, June 21, 2008

When Do You Create?

I really enjoyed Ratatouille, but even more than that, I enjoyed the video about the movie's inspiration. The mini-documentary followed Brad Bird (the Pixar wizard) through bits of the creative process, and also followed their culinary inspiration, Thomas Keller, owner and chef of The French Laundry through a dialogue about his own creative process and inspiration and commitment to work.

One thing that Brad Bird said has stuck with me. The long and short of his point was that you can't force the creative process. You have to pay attention to what puts you in a creative state of mind. What environment makes you quiet enough to listen to the art that is being given you? Do your best to recreate that environment or put yourself in that situation when you work. I suppose that the rest of the process is to do as all the good writers I know say, and to get up every day and write something. Or play something. Or practice - like I need to practice at both the hammered dulcimer and making hollandaise sauce from scratch.

My creativity seems to flow from hearing and perhaps seeing the art of others. When I listen to a new record and it touches me, I feel words spring up from beneath my granite heart. When I write, at least prosaically, I feel that all I must do is write a little to unhinge the door, and then words and ideas will begin to flow. Then there are those painfully inconvenient times when I'm showering or driving. Or selling coffee, as the case may be.


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