The Creative Chaos-Control Continuum

I think about the creative process alot because I teach others how to be more creative in their artwork.  So, I figure I should probably try to understand the process.  It’s a slippery thing to pin down, creativity.  Lots of folks have talked about it, written about it, mused about it.  So today I’m only going to toss one idea out there about creativity.  I like to call it the Chaos-Control Continuum.

I think creative activity occurs along a continum from control to chaos.  People create all along that line from very those whose art is strict and organized to those whose art is wild and erratic.  As an artist, the “control” side is safe – but can be boring, since no risks are taken.


The “chaos” side is exciting, but can plunge into madness.


I suggest that we try to dance along the line separating the control from the chaos – that’s where all the good ideas are.  Enough control to be productive and actually finish a piece, but enough chaos to make that piece have life and soul.


How do we do that? Take risks with your art – what would happen if…? (what would happen if I used that color? or added that piece? or chopped it up and rearranged it? or made it bigger?).  Look at things from another point of view (make that part cascade down instead of up; get really close, like microscopic close;  push the outside part into the inside).  Perhaps make something just because you want to and don’t think about what it’s supposed to be, just go with the flow.

Creativity is a life force.  Life is all about control and chaos.  You need both to have an interesting time on this planet.  In your artistic life, dance along the line where both control and chaos live and see how interesting it can be!



About christifriesen

I am an artist because I must be. My mind wanders and my fingers follow. Just feed me a little more chocolate and I'll be fine.
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2 Responses to The Creative Chaos-Control Continuum

  1. Diane Romero Mattern says:

    Well said…I’m off to my studio to create…might be a bit chaotic but I’ll try and control it…lol! Love and miss you all!


  2. hee hee – I always thought your studio and your work were the perfect blend of control and chaos, Diane!!!
    I’m gonna have to come and visit soon!!!!


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