November 10, 2010

Creative Role: The Contemplator

It’s been heard before because it’s easy to judge—“Don’t overthink it.” Over-thinking can lead to over-engineering. Or it can lead to over-analysis…which can lead to, y’know, paralysis of thinking. Or it can lead to insight.

One such example comes from illustrator Noma Bar whose visual compositions, striking in their stripped-down essence, are the results of thinking (lots of it). When asked by blog Grain Edit’s Dave Cuzner about any guidelines he lives by as an illustrator or can give to other artists, Bar emphasized pressing on with a steady pedal-to-the-mental approach:
“…think a lot. Think hard before you start to do something. I spend more time thinking than illustrating. I need to surprise myself with good ideas and not just illustrate beautiful pictures.”
Noma’s over-thinking is more like contemplation. It’s an exercise of reaching out for awareness of something better. It requires letting go of the viscosity of thinking. “Over-thinking” speaks to a ceiling. Contemplation has a ceiling too, and it’s low or as high as it could be. The hard part is determining the ideal height of thought, where the cut-off is not abrupt but on your own terms.

Tap into your inner contemplator.

• • •

This is the fourth piece of a series focused on the lively cast of characters whose roles make the play of Creativity. In case you missed the previous Creative Role, meet the Blender.

• • •

Typographic illustration, tailormade for this series, was done by Shawn HazenRead his Designer’s Quest(ionnaire).