Know what I found out in grad school? Ideas are cheap. I come up with zillions of ideas every day. The tricky part is how I decide which ideas I'll work on. I figured out that what I usually did was reject ideas rather select them; my method was entirely destructive rather than constructive. So I made a list of all the reasons I used to reject ideas and then I set out to break 'em all and see which ones still seemed valid.
As an exercise for the reader, make your own list. What reasons do you use to reject ideas? (Hey, mail 'em to me. I'd be interested.)
Linda's favourite reasons for rejecting ideas:
- It's not controlled/finished use of materials!
- It might damage the workspace!
- The work couldn't be shown!
- The work couldn't be moved!
- The work couldn't be moved with a Chevette!
- I can't afford the materials!
- The subject matter violates my privacy!
- The subject matter violates someone else's privacy!
- It's slight!
- It's derivative!
- It's not serious!
- It might even be whimsical!
- It's funny!
- It's got no content, just formal exploration of materials
- It's not planned all the way through!
- The materials aren't archival!
Some good advice I received that year:
- "Turn your practice upside-down, do things you wouldn't normally do."
- "Dislocated? Disoriented? Do work about that."
- "Look at the specific rather than the general."
- "Where is the emotion in the finished work?"
- "Think about why you're concerned with 'productivity'."
- "Develop the piece as a whole rather than letting one part get too far ahead of another."
- "You've only got two years."
More reasons to reject ideas:
- It's decorative!
- It's not in good taste!
- It's breakable!
- It's silly!