Monday, November 28, 2011

Coffee Pot Theory of the Creative Process: Part 2

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Coffee Pot Theory of the Creative Process.
©2004-2011 Mary Rush Gravelle

Last week I introduced you to my Coffee Pot Theory of the Creative Process. This is a process that came to me in 2004. I called it a theory because it was something that I was thinking about as a possibility in outlining the creative process. Creativity is a rascal that does not want to be tied down. It is a free spirit. But, what if we can get a handle on the process of creativity? Wouldn’t that make life a little easier? Wouldn’t it help us create if we knew the process?

This theory was published in 2004 in the ARTistic FX magazine in Hartford, Connecticut. The magazine is no longer online, otherwise I would give you the link. I will reproduce it here on this blog for you over several weeks so you can take it in, or drink it in!

Beginning of article:
Published 2004 in the ARTistic FX magazine


We are the Coffee Generation, judging by the many different coffee establishments. Why do we love our coffee so much? Does the idea of drinking a cup of coffee conjure up the scene in your mind of being jolted from your sleepy-headed state and revving your feet into action? It certainly does for me.

Let’s think about the act of drinking that cup of coffee as metaphor for the creative process. Think of the head as the beginning of the process and the feet as a completion of our process. Coffee wakes our head so our feet can get moving.

Now, let’s compare Coffee with Ideas. Ideas come into our minds so our feet can bring them out into the world in some form. We begin with an idea and find ourselves immersed in a process of making it happen.” [This is much like placing the coffee grounds and water into the pot and then letting the process take over to make that cup of coffee].

“Let’s begin with the old-fashioned method: the percolator coffee pot. How does it make coffee? The percolator takes its time heating the water and then takes more time sending the water upward only to come back down over the coffee grounds. Then, the water seeps over the grounds, and the fresh aroma of coffee fills the kitchen as the coffee makes its way into the pot with a final brew. [Let’s compare this process with the creative process].

1st Stage: Yahoo!
This is the moment in time when an idea arrives in your wondering mind, ‘Hmm… I have an idea,' you might say to yourself. This is the very exciting stage when you salivate at the very prospect of pursuing this idea. It’s like the first kiss, so savory delicious you can hardly contain your jazzed-up emotion over it.

2nd Stage: Ouch!
Featured artwork: Landscape of the Mind
Abstract photograph. © Mary Rush Gravelle.
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Your idea takes a nosedive after running it through your Reality Checking System. ‘It’ll never work. What was I thinking anyway?” is what you might be saying at this stage. You ramble on, “There are no new ideas, anyway.” You doubt everything about yourself and this idea: its feasibility, your skill level, your thinking abilities, blah, blah, blah, etc. Your acrimonious remarks continue. Pragmatism rules. The Critic takes over.”

End of partial article

So, think about these two beginning stages of this theory. Run them through your own creative process and see if it fits. I’ll continue this next week unfolding the final stages to the creative process.

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