Over the past year, I have been researching the creative process. This was partly for my own benefit, partly for understanding the drives of fellow artists. Through all the books I’ve read, films I’ve watched, and lives I’ve examined, all I can tell is that creativity is wonderfully multi-faceted.
Sometimes, this can be unhelpful. In exactly one year, I will begin applying to grad schools for my MFA. The problem is, I still can’t decide which creative field to specialize in. Years of deliberation and practice of numerous art forms have yet to lead me to a clear answer.
It’s time to play a game. Over the next year, from October 1st, 2015 to September 30th, 2016, I’m going to undertake 10 major projects, each in a different creative field. When the year is up, I will begin grad school applications for whichever specialization has had the most successful project.
The projects are as follows:
- Write a novel
- Write a full-length play
- Perform in a play
- Perform in a dance showcase
- Produce a performance
- Release a music album
- Create a webcomic
- Create a short film
- Display an artwork at a gallery
- Learn to make macarons
While this division of effort will sidetrack energy from some of my strengths, I believe it has a number of advantages. First, whatever track I choose, I will have hands-on experience in other fields, allowing me to better appreciate the works of different kinds of artists. Second, creativity thrives on interdisciplinary thought. The best way I have found to visualize it is through the theory of multiple intelligences. Howard Gardner’s theory looks at intelligence as being broken into eight different modalities. I picture creativity as a networked process nested right in the center of all eight of these.
My projects are selected to draw on all eight abilities. By spending a year in cross-disciplinary training, my creative ability should become far more well-rounded. My success in each area will also give a rubric for evaluating my skills comparatively.
This process is going to involve writing about 150,000 words, researching, taking acting classes, dance classes, drawing classes, voice classes, rehearsing, reading, recording, reading, getting a headshot, designing business cards, learning an instrument, acquiring AV equipment, and countless steps I haven’t even anticipated yet.
Did I mention reading? I’ve put together a list of 50 books to read, review, and reflect on over the next year, spanning all of the disciplines involved in this challenge. I’ve picked 50 books not because I think that’s all the information I’ll need, but because it will allow me to read and write about one book a week all year, with one week off for Christmas and one off for tech week during Project #3.
All progress and creative revelations in this undertaking will be shared through this blog over the course of the next year.