Every time I write one of those intensely long blog entries, I mean for it to be short and succinct. Every time I start out, I think, “This will be a short post, this will be a short post…” Here goes.
I miss being creative.
Most of you who know me know that my career as a salesman has come to an end, and my career as a game designer has finally begun (albeit a rocky start). So, when I say I miss being creative, I’m sure a lot of you will wonder, “Don’t you have to be creative all day every day?”
The answer is yeah, sort of.
Being creative in the gaming industry is a brilliant amalgamation of form and function, and it provides a much welcomed change of pace to my every day work. Designing interactive art is a thrill, and I appreciate the direction of artists and designers that have been in the industry longer than I. Transitioning from customer support and sales to game design was a lot like transitioning from being hungry to being well fed, in that it was desired, easy, and fun. Nothing about my new career is unpleasant. Except for getting laid off because funding has been cut, of course. But I am departing from the purpose of this post.
I’m not writing this to tell you how wonderful designing games is; that is obvious. I’m writing this because I feel very uninspired lately.
Working in a creative environment has sharpened my eyes and skills, and it will continue to do so. Even so, during my time at Idol Minds (the aforementioned game developer I worked for) I found myself returning home after a long day at the studio, wanting nothing more than to just sit down and read a book or play a game. I didn’t want to even look at a computer and try to make it dance fancy. Painting, drawing, writing, even photography became a chore. A close friend asked me to design a website, and I thought the opportunity would be a refreshing change of pace, and a valuable learning experience. It was not. While I enjoyed helping a friend and learning new web design principles, I found myself cringing at code, and despising design. The website turned out far less visually appealing than I had hoped, and I hardly had the motivation to make any changes to it.
But I’m not employed anymore, and I still feel this lack of personal creativity.
Professional creativity is still unyielding; when I am faced with a design test for a potential job, or whilst admiring (tearing apart) other designers’ art, I am keen to the demands of the art at hand, and I am eager to get my hands dirty. Once that is over, however, I sit on my hands and think about all the pretty things I could be creating. And I don’t create. I don’t touch Photoshop or Illustrator. I don’t sketch up t-shirt designs, or wall art. I don’t play with typography, and hardly do I even write blogs anymore. I don’t even own a decent camera anymore. Yet being unemployed just begs me to use my time to be more creative.
It’s quite frustrating, and I feel stuck.
Design and art take on so many forms, and every day I am fascinated with the way people utilize the tools of our day and age to create wonderful pieces of art. I have access to all of these tools (well, some I can’t currently afford), and I sit around looking at them like they’re art themselves, finished pieces to be left untouched. Still, when I see design (or anything else) that inspires me, I feel that creative itch. I could sit down and make live or digital music, or I could animate something in Flash. I could take some photos with my iPhone, and mess with them in Photoshop. I could use my Bamboo tablet to draw things out in Illustrator, or I could use what charcoal I have left and sketch up a still life. I never was much of a painter, but I could try my hand. I could write some poetry, or get started on that book I tell everyone I’m going to write but never sit down and actually write it. Hell, I could learn some more web design, or coding, or grab an Arduino and dick around with it.
But I don’t.
And I don’t know why I’m so terribly unproductive lately. Every time I sit down to do something creative, I get distracted and just end up playing a video game, or eating. Lately, creating something feels a lot like starting over in a relationship; there is so much to do, so many things to build up, and it all just seems like so much work. A blank canvas doesn’t turn into a finished piece in my mind—it’s just a blank canvas, with so many possible twists and turns that my creative process turns and hides in fear that the vague idea I currently have will inevitably turn into something completely different, or require massive restructuring to achieve satisfactory results.
Sometimes I wonder why I ever decided to be an artist rather than a mathematician, or engineer.
Maybe I need a muse.