ImagineFX - - Front Page - with JON FOS­TER!

Mak­ing ex­cit­ing and new com­po­si­tions can be daunt­ing, even frus­trat­ing. That frus­tra­tion can be fu­elled by a need to nail down the idea of good com­po­si­tion in an ob­jec­tive man­ner. A plus B equals C, so to speak.

There are tools and rules for com­po­si­tion that are solid and work a bit like that A plus B equals C ob­jec­tive: the Rule of Thirds, the Golden Mean, Dom­i­nant Eye the­ory, the Pyra­mid Foun­da­tion and more. All have value, and all fit nicely into that un­der­stand­able for­mula, but they tend to pro­duce the same kind of re­sults over and over again.

But there’s more to it. I saw it in the com­po­si­tions of artists who I ad­mired. I learned that the cre­ative pro­cesses was bet­ter served by not know­ing ex­actly what to do in an A plus B equals C fash­ion, but by be­ing will­ing to make mis­takes to find the things that do work. It’s a bit like cook­ing: you set out to make a good dish, fol­low the di­rec­tion, keep to the mea­sure­ments and in­gre­di­ents pre­scribed, and ka-pow, a great dish!

Yet if you make that dish re­peat­edly it be­comes com­mon, even bor­ing. You could cre­ate an­other dish by ap­ply­ing the same cook­ing tips ‘n’ tricks, but even­tu­ally you’ll be­come com­pla­cent. The chal­lenge isn’t there, and there are no sur­prises. You know that fol­low­ing those di­rec­tions makes a good dish, but you want to make your own dish, to make some­thing new.

To do this you could change the recipe, add new spices, take out spices, change the pro­por­tions of in­gre­di­ents, change the in­gre­di­ents com­pletely. You’ll come up with some­thing new, some­thing that could sur­prise you! Of course, that sur­prise could be a bad one, but we have to take these risks to learn new things. But as with food, noth­ing should gets wasted – we learn from all our ex­per­i­ments in cre­at­ing.

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