I have long been fascinated by the creative process ... what starts it, where it goes and how it almost has a mind of its own. The photo I took of the chair seat is rectangular with a mechanical pattern of metal and holes. Rigid and static, it wanted to bend. Photoshop is a willing, if sometimes cantankerous, servant so bend it did. A flower form emerged. Then sat there freed from its linear constraints but not knowing where it wanted to take its new freedom.
It rested like a magnet pulling other images toward it and then spinning them away when they turned out to be wrong. Silently rejecting image after image, this holey-holy-wholly flower had a mind of its own. When a spiraled nautilus shell paraded onto the page, the magnetic force snapped it into place like a puzzle piece and spun out a larger, fainter version in another part of the page. And, then rested again.
I thought it was complete. It wasn't. It kept calling and I kept offering tidbits that were spit back out as it if were a fussy child. It hesitated over a butterfly, tasted it, contemplated it and then waved it away. I was becoming frustrated wondering if there really was another piece in this puzzling image now called "Wholly Flower." The butterfly had felt almost right. Then I noticed a small caterpillar image. I had never been happy with the image because the caterpillar was crawling away from me on a leaf when what I had really wanted was to see its face.
But, the caterpillar said "try me" and when I dropped it into the mix, the whole image came alive and said Done! Even the name changed. The caterpillar looked like it was trying to crawl into one of the holes and it made me think of Alice in Wonderland and exploring new worlds. It took on the name Wonderland.
The creative process is probably as unique as fingerprints but what amazes and amuses me is how it almost doesn't seem to have anything to do with me. I feel like an observer whose primary job is to watch and listen ... and do its bidding. Sometimes I wish it would speak in a louder, clearer voice but, overall, it is a gift. I sometimes feel just like that small caterpillar heading into that dark hole. I don't know what's ahead of me but I know it will nourish me ... and, maybe, on the other side I will turn into a butterfly.