Under the hood

What we love and hate hijacks our attention. On the course of fighting the dark side, a hero eventually learns to empathize with it. Odds are if you now live in a free country, your freedom fighters were once declared terrorist by the contemporary government. The tormented eventually becomes the tormentor because what we seek is a reason for our hatred and… well let Nietzsche say it…

“He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster.

And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.”

–Nietzsche

In the end, love triumphs and if it doesn’t then it isn’t the end. So, unless you believe in the existence of an absolute truth, this cycle is going to be eternal. In trying to discover the truth in the field of creativity (while learning the talk and trying the walk), here are five decrees from professionals and passionate:

1. Invisibility: A successful technology should make itself invisible by getting out-of-the-way. An effective piece of art does the same. It provides a vehicle that takes us on a transformative journey while the windows render our personal experiences.

2. Art isn’t fragile: Knowing how music works, or learning basics of geometry don’t take away the pleasures of consuming them. You don’t have to kill the foodie to become the cook. The magic won’t go away once you look under the hood. Spell won’t be broken. Instead, the interiors will bewitch you.

3. Genre: Arts is a rendition of philosophy and grounds itself on the foundation of preexisting formats. It unconsciously and instinctively reinforces existing beliefs. Genres are light-handed construction lines that lay beneath and support the real creation. It can be found in visual arts, music, literature, animations and even software.

4. It isn’t the thought that counts: Art is a means of expression but when it comes to learning the art itself the most effective means is to strip it off the meaning.

  • The best advice that worked for me when I was learning to sketch was to practice by turning the image upside-down. It stripped the meaning of the image and I could focus on duplicating.
  • The best advice that helped me to polish on grammar is to work on meaningless sentences that are syntactically sound but semantically absurd. So I can focus on the syntax without being curious about the content.

5. There are no troubled artists just troubled people: On contrary to the popularly accepted on-the-screen narrative, artists are normal people. They do not have regular fits of epiphany and get googly-eyed before they spill their hallucinations on canvas. Passion plays an important role but persistence and practice are the collective wisdom from the prevailing.

Even if you are in front of the stage, it is fun to occasionally take a peek behind the curtain.