Wednesday, November 15, 2006

two of my favorite artists on inspiration and notes on sub-creation

"Imagination cannot function in a vacuum...The value of information and knowledge, visual or other, is the time it spends kicking around inside one's head. Despite the mice and the abandoned nests under the eaves, the mind is not an idle place, where things are stored away collecting dust. They talk to each other, exchange information, get together, make groups and friends, and eventually are there when you are doing the one thing you can NOT do consciously - be inspired."


*(this is a blog post where he talks about his artist's morgue, something I was first introduced to in the excellent book Digital Texturing and Painting)

"For an artist to create something completely original is impossible; there really isn't such a thing as something that is completely original, but it's very possible and sometimes very powerful to combine existing elements into a new whole. This is what an artist does: Ingest the world around him or her and regurgitate it, putting it back together into something that is familiar, yet unfamiliar; normal yet magical. I can cite examples of resources that proved to be an inspiration for us, but really those resources inspired us in very superficial ways. We've been "ingesting" since we were born, and what comes out now is the sum of our entire lives."

-Robyn Miller in an interview in Digital Space: Designing Virtual Environment

Besides inspiration, Miller refers what Tolkien (who influence both of these artists) called sub-creation: our created worlds are secondary within God's created world, thus never truly original. Ignoring this I think is why so much modern art is so ugly and poor. (edit: I have a post on this here.)

Also, the other day I stumbled upon this excellent article that sums up and explores a lot of things I am interested in about Worldbuilding as Storytelling, etc:

Sub-creation of Secondary Game Worlds:

"In order to sub-create a vivid world, I suggest that the game designers need to focus more on the philosophical, mythological, and religious cultural aspects of their world, rather than focusing on naïve quests. Not neglecting quests though, a believable game world requires naïve and epic adventures as well as cosmological inter-linkage between ideas. The game designer as sub-creator must want to say something with their world, and these messages are the basis of the cosmological level of the game world. They do not have to be didactic or moralizing, but the content ought to move the players emotionally as well as sensibly or rationally."

-Lars Konzack,
(who incedently has a blog I just discovered here.)

...and in order to make this post sufficiently ramblesome, there are many parallels between that essay and Ernest Adam's Will Computer Games Ever be a Legitiment Art Form.

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