In a way, I think of Intentional Creativity as a more logical (or masculine) approach to directing your creativity. The artist affects the process by choosing an intention. The intention propels the creative expression in a mindful way “to support growth and healing.” In other words, the artist “creates around their intention.”
Of equal value is unintentional creativity which I consider a “feminine” or intuitive approach to initiating making art. Making random marks on a fresh canvas, dripping or swiping colors over the canvas, paint doodling, intuitively choosing colors, layering, etc. could seem to be “going nowhere.” However, what I’ve found is that this is an opportunity for the deeper psyche to express itself. As I get to a certain stage in this free play process, I might begin to see shapes, images rising to the surface of my awareness. Some of them I bring forth, others retreat into the background. Some I paint or collage over, others I refine.
This is my preference for now. That said, I notice that once I paint the “I don’t know where this is going random marks,” I get to the place of crafting a painting. Then my marks become more intentional as I bring a piece into its final form. I can’t say that I have chosen a specific intention for the painting even at this point. I’m allowing the piece to show and tell me what wants to be revealed.
Truly, both styles of painting overlap and weave through any process. However, when I try to “force” my painting to go a certain way, I find that I can be blocked. Any piece has a sort of self-determination.
I painted the piece below to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. For me, painting this felt like a wild ride that intensified as I went. Painting is an energetic process. There is the possibility of transformation both of the canvas and one’s own emotional state.
As writers, our initial task is to get something down on paper, uncensored. If we want to make a piece “public”, or refine it for our own satisfaction, then the process of crafting begins.
I often think of crafting as sculptors have described: setting the sculpture free from the marble. So it is with writing. We have extraneous words, not the precise word, unclear thoughts, a lack of cohesiveness. In refining his or her work, the writer employs some basic editing tools in order to set his or her piece free of what is superfluous.
- Have nearby: a dictionary, a synonym finder and a rhyming dictionary (if you are rhyming poetry)
- Look for imprecise words…ask yourself if there is a better word. When you find the precise word, you typically have an economy of words.
- Notice if the words you’ve chosen are interesting and varied.
- Have you used figurative language effectively?
- Look within the structure of a sentence and ask yourself “Can I say this better?”
- Read your piece over paragraph by paragraph or verse by verse. Within each paragraph or verse, look for unnecessary repetition.
- Remember the beginning, middle and end segments of a paragraph. Is the paragraph cohesive unto itself?
- Does one paragraph or verse flow into the next?
- Have you said what you want to say?
- Is there a conclusion?
- Get in the habit of giving your poem or prose piece a title.
These are a few crafting tools that you can employ, one at a time. This list is by no means a comprehensive one.
This type of crafting is a word-by-word, line-by-line, paragraph-by-paragraph, page-by-page process. Don’t attempt this when you are tired.
NOTE: There are downloadable editing programs that you can find online though I haven’t personally tried any of them.
Ultimately, if you are publishing, hire a professional editor for refined and expert editing. They have their very specific tools and aren’t emotionally attached to what you have written.