Ah, the mysteries of the creative process. I’m sure most of Hyperallergic’s readers know it well: the nagging self-doubt, the crippling perfectionism and the sense that someone, somewhere must have done this before. And then, after all that, maybe, just maybe, a shot at genuine recognition.
The Creative Process, an infographic by Viruscomix floating around infographic social network visual.ly, shows the twists and turns of the creative process in a labyrinthine landscape not unlike a twisted version of the Game of Life boardgame. It all starts with an idea, in the bottom left corner, as a painting packed in a truck pulls out of a grungy garage-cum-studio. From there, the creative soul can choose one of three options: a shortcut to fiery doom on the Self Doubt track; an express route informed by confidence and self-delusion and willfully failing to realize that “it’s just art”; and, most commonly, a long-winding “scenic route” filled with pitfalls and challenges.
These are some of my favorite bits.
- The circuitous route of comparing oneself to others, with 795,000+ laps around insecurity, pettiness and fear, among others.
- The drive-in theatre of indolence, with lazy signs to direct you to your destination.
- The motivation gas pump, where you can fill up on ambition and pride before crossing the harrowing bridge of the critic-troll.
- The endless pitfalls of crushing, burning, bottomless self-doubt awaiting your every turn.
It’s a darkly humorous infographic that seems to suggest that all you need is talent, drive and self-confidence to make it as an artist (class, race, gender, education and sexual orientation on the road to stardom get nary a mention). Of course, even after surviving all this and getting your work on display, someone’s going to call it a piece of crap. But if you’ve managed that long, hey, at least you get a show.
Now, all we need is an art world board game.
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