“What did you make me play?” demanded Crusher. “Make you?” Trelane seemed appalled, even offended, by the very suggestion. “My dear captain, I made you play nothing. Nothing, on my word of honor. I gave you the facility, yes. The dexterity, the knowledge. All of those, my gift to you to try and atone for my boorish behavior earlier. But the music that you produced … that, Captain, came from within you.”
My latest project was a book of quotations. The content represents what I think and feel about life. Sometimes you notice quotations or images that strike a chord deep inside you, that you recognize as ‘true’ and as ‘your own opinions’. It’s not that you form your opinions after these quotations (though they might do their part in stabilizing it and giving these positions credence), but they bring an issue to a point in better words or images than you could create on your own.
I found these quotations in movies I have watched, books I have read, games I have played, and quotation websites and databases on the web. The images used as decoration or statements in themselves came mostly from websites, about games, about movies, some dedicated to specific artists (e.g., Luis Royo) or art in general (e.g., DeviantArt).
It’s a paper mashup, but while the content came from other persons and artists (albeit selected by me), the book itself follows a red thread that was completely defined by me. It has its own logic, and — in my opinion — it is much more than the sum of its parts. But while I created the book with InDesign, the printing and binding was done by Lulu. I have printed and bound books myself, and I have written a blog entry why I decided to use a professional service for this project. When the book arrived, I ordered dark-green velvet and metal book corners on the Internet and gave the book a new cover.
In short, it’s a strong mixture of external content/work and personal selection/structuring/work.
Now, holding the finished book in my hands I can’t help but be astonished — I’m a scientist, not a bookmaker. Yet, I have created a(nother) book and one that I deeply love. I consider it to be “my” finest work so far. It’s beautiful, it’s a cross-section through myself, what I think, what I feel about life. It is deeply personal, very intimate and despite the external material and external help in creating, I consider it my work.
It made me realize again how great the times are for creative works. The material, the tools, the knowledge, the training — it’s all out there for you to use, to learn, to adapt, to change, to expand, to improve, to enhance. The primary idea (the “root idea”, so to speak) will and must still come from within yourself, but these days it’s an extremely fertile ground out there.
The times for creativity are truly golden. 🙂