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By Design: An Unapologetic Guide to the Art of (Others Who Spoke 6 : Fuelling the Kretiv Malaysia)

Copyright © 2017 by
Mukhlis Nor Adhicipta


How I wish that was true. Instead, I was given the freedom to write an appropriate and relevant topic.

My intention, among other things, is a narrative. A likeness would be, My Daughters' Favourite Dish. Mind you it's not a recipe. No doubt, making a piece of art that rocks is pretty much like cooking but attempting to read this will not take you to heirlooms-a-rama with secret sauces, extraordinary ingredients and tricky moves. At best it's anecdotal, like a great story to a mouth-watering dish, and compliments should always go to the chef, you the reader.

Hijau was done in under 10 minutes while waiting for a class, lyrics first with melody humming in my brains all afternoon. It is a story I tell, and there is a longer version, but the gist of it is that, there are no rules to making songs happen.
Art in its many forms is served everywhere, all the time. Art’s remarkable genius is its subjectivity. Look around us. We breathe art. Even as we lay silent, trying to fall asleep on a quiet night, we hear art at work. We find art even when we are not looking.

I am fortunate to land in a realm that may seem unique at first. What follows will illustrate how the processes are essentially the same across the board. In part, all that exist as art are based on crafts and the higher order called craftsmanship, the Art of. Not to make this any more confusing, there is also the Science of things. In any case, science would have to be on an entirely different chapter.

Art is firstly nurtured by casual discussions. In general are two distinct assemblages; the laymen, and the professionals. Then there are smaller, atypical groupings of chats and chin-wags amongst family, friends and loved ones. I truly believe a good interaction is ever precious in the understanding and appreciation of an art form.

Art in many ways is about reaction. Reaction between artist and perceiver, beholder and art itself vice versa, even reactions amongst viewers and audiences. Although aplenty, the most important is the intrinsic reaction between artist and self. Where the ego and person collide. Through this a work has a decent shot at a heart and soul; devoid of which, Oomph would be just another low resonant noise. And a soulless and heartless art is fart.

You as artist will cultivate tastes, adopting styles and claim them. A true artist will eventually own these styles by making them unique. The regime or system to make this happen is in your hands. Artists are born mimics, like universal adapters, they are human beings with acute sensory preceptors. An artist's direction however, may be plagued with questions that affect their choices. Indeed there are many ways to go as there is no right or wrong. Any trail is good but naturally there would be trade-offs.

Everyone has the potential to be creative. That is our primordial human nature. Imagination outlines the foundation of creativity. Imagination is also a deeply ingrained human trait. Some consider it inspiration or some form of divine guidance while others call it extensions of enthusiasm.

Imagination may be a gateway to greater things but without a presentation it remains never to be reckoned. And the humdinger - works of art are not necessarily tangible. It can be a mere experience. Dimensions are mediums, be it three like sculptures, two like paintings or even non-dimensional pieces like music.

Art appreciation is sensing creative expressions in the past, present or future situations. The artist's imagination is a perpetual cycle that challenges the intellect. A ruined imagination can manifest itself as monsters that polarise great ideas into dust and turn against good. In closing, the big breakdown of my creative process in three phases through which work progresses.

Phase one, the Incipire. The birth of an idea. Like a preloaded app, there is this spark of hope; an igniter, which we are conscious of. If not, then the art is by default a fluky. The awareness is reaction that determines the middle phase. What's cooking? Stroganoff.

Phase two is the Concipere. It is formation of the core. The prep. Here assuming a different role and form, your imagination becomes the Stroganoff Forum moderator. The discourse is mainly between instincts and desires. Analyse and evaluate. The goal: treat and develop a masterplan and eventual composition. Simple as that. Pan over stove. Butter melted and onions sweat.

While composing, the advantages lie in conscious decisions for that reasonable solution. Again with imagination, identify all constraints and as Rule of Thumb – Measure Twice, and Render Once. Which means to always meticulously consider the choices available before nailing it. If you're in total control you may claim your work indefinitely. If not, you will risk getting into a rut. This applies to collaborative work as well. Adopt the opposite, and external forces will overwhelm and obscure you.

Cook this dish the way you do best. Sirloin strips if possible, but tweak ingredients you will, to make life interesting. Please yourself first by cooking. But most important are the ones you're cooking for. In my case, the Audiences are my daughters.

And so creative processes move forth to the final phase where art becomes one of either two; by default or by design.
Phase three is the final, the Resolvere. Prior to this taking shape, the design development would have gone through changes and alterations. These may be positive but not necessarily something that is certain and preset. Embrace your strengths and advance your weaknesses. Sincerity and ingenuity will go a long way. Then comes the reveal. Plating up time!

In closing, the big breakdown of my creative process is the three phases through which work progresses. At the end your dish, your work will reflect you and your love. You would want to have given it life and meaning by now. A heart and a soul. And a great cook will have leftovers but no waste.