Last summer, I decided to go back to school and complete my bachelor’s degree in Arts Technology. ATK touches on the ways that technology can be applied to all aspects of the arts—visual, music, and performance—and all the parts in between. The best analogy I’ve come up with is that it’s the arts version of STEM studies.
My current class, Basic Skills in the Digital Arts, mixes web design, Photoshop work, and, most importantly, creative philosophy. By “creative philosophy,” I was delighted to see an approach focused on demystifying the creative process. The course was chock-full of practical lessons stressing motivation over inspiration. These are lessons I’ve learned (and re-learned) over the course of my career, so I’m glad to see a program that not only teaches it, but makes it a focal point of the introductory class.
The end result has been a reaffirmation of some of my core creative beliefs—best summed up by the Jack London quote, “You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to hunt it down with a club.” That quote isn’t part of the class, but the mentality behind it is.
I’ll share some of my work from the class in future entries, but for now, I’ll leave you with some recommended reading we’ve had in class: Steal Like and Artist, and Show Your Work, both by Austin Kleon. Any creative person, established or neophyte, can either learn or be galvanized by the ideas presented in both books.