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  1. #1
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    idea generating for art without MDD

    I have a slight problem, which is that I'm soon going to be trying to get rid of what's unofficially known as compulsive fantasy or maladaptive daydreaming disorder (not in the dsm yet), and that is always how I got ideas for art/filmmaking/whatever, and it's great that creativity is easy for me, but not so great when I start running/pacing without realizing and injuring myself/scaring others, talking out loud 'to myself' and crying or laughing involuntarily whenever a character does, etc etc. There have also been many lost days where I've done nothing but pace and daydream, and that is not going to work if I decide to become a professional artist.

    But I'm not sure how to approach the creative process for art in a normal way, what's a normal way of using the imagination? Are there any books that could be recommended? And as MDers tend to be into art, are there any on here, and could you tell me how you dealt with it, and I'm also a little scared that when I start corrective measures whether I'll lose the ability to think creatively at all, please reassure me that this is not case.

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  3. #2
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    Is this MDD a real thing or just your fun code? And my advice is worry less about others, right ways, etc. Do whatever you do and make it work. If you need to buckle down and do some studies, great...do that when it feels right...if you need to swim naked in pools of azure dream, embrace the fact that you can.

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  4. #3
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    Trust me you won't feel so passionate when they're not your ideas. Some might even make you little mad at the stupidity of what your client wants verses what they should want.

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  6. #4
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    Nah, it's not something I've made up, you can read studies done on it if you want, or browse the various support groups online. If anything, it's a little embarrassing to admit to having. Although I can see how it can be seen as attention seeking

    That would be great, I'm definitely following through the need to buckle down and do studies and not comparing myself too much with others, but for the daydreaming it's not something I want to do or should be doing anymore, it's not just normal daydreaming and just because there's a lot of creativity doesn't mean that the ideas are any good most of them are terrible. But really, I just want to know how I should approach coming up with ideas, and any books/tutorials on this subject, and as a sidenote anything MD specific

    That's interesting Shorinji, never thought of that, how do you pitch things to clients who have it wrong, or do you not risk losing your job and just do what they want? I guess it would depend on the kind of client?

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    Quote Originally Posted by lapprenti View Post
    That's interesting Shorinji, never thought of that, how do you pitch things to clients who have it wrong, or do you not risk losing your job and just do what they want? I guess it would depend on the kind of client?
    The problem is that you could pitch something wonderful, and no matter how well presented it is they will still sometimes make lousy decisions. It's like those horrible local car dealer commercials that have the bad acting kids. A lot of the time the director wants to make a good commercial, but the client wants to use their kids. It comes down to being a job. You have to eat so you tell yourself that its not your fault.

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  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by lapprenti View Post
    How do you pitch things to clients who have it wrong, or do you not risk losing your job and just do what they want? I guess it would depend on the kind of client?
    That kind of situation always reminds me of the scene from The Aviator where one of Howard Hughes' employees disagrees with some of the decisions that Hughes. Hughes instructs his employee that whenever that kind of situation comes up, just say "it's your money" and let it be.

    Whether that's the approach you should take with your client depends on the temperament of the client. If you have a brilliant idea that falls outside the original prompt, and your client is open to artist input, then you can show them a mockup of both ways. They may end up picking your version or incorporating some of the ideas of both.

    ----

    As for your MDD, it sounds like it could be an incredibly useful "superpower" to have for an artist, if you learned to harness it effectively. It reminds me of the Hulk in some ways, or Michael J. Fox's recurring character on Scrubs - an incredibly gifted surgeon who is that good because his OCD made it so he literally couldn't stop studying. In both cases, their greatest strength is also their greatest weakness. I guess I'd encourage you to cautiously embrace it.

    Last edited by SmallPoly; June 1st, 2012 at 06:47 PM.
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  10. #7
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    Hah, that's a little depressing, although I'm guessing there are better jobs that make it worthwhile, the higher the status you have as an artist, the more you get to work with better people, and there's always personal work anyway, so I'm not too put off

    Quote Originally Posted by SmallPoly View Post
    As for your MDD, it sounds like it could be an incredibly useful "superpower" to have for an artist, if you learned to harness it effectively. It reminds me of the Hulk in some ways, or Michael J. Fox's recurring character on Scrubs - an incredibly gifted surgeon who is that good because his OCD made it so he literally couldn't stop studying. In both cases, their greatest strength is also their greatest weakness. I guess I'd encourage you to cautiously embrace it.
    You may have somewhat of a point but it's not good to romanticize these sorts of things, and what good is living in other worlds and constantly constructing (mostly useless and terrible) stories, when you're always drifting away and can't focus on making art, as well as acting insane. But I do know of people who have controlled their MDing until it's no longer a major problem instead of getting rid of it entirely, and in that case I'll just have to accept my kind of weird behaviour

    I know of one person who advocates this approach, Dorothea Brande, a writer from the early 20th century, she wrote a lot about 'the artistic coma' (a bit of pseudoscience, but relates to modern ideas of hypnotic kinesthetic movements that goes along with MDD, like running/pacing, or throwing a ball into the air again and again), music as a trigger for this (this is definitely true in my case) and not letting the imagination get in the way of working on skill and the technical side of writing:

    "...the quiescent period, since every writer alive occupies himself in some quiet idiosyncratic way in that interlude, it is seldom noticed that these occupations have a kind of common denominator. Horseback riding; knitting; shuffling and dealing cards; walking; whittling; you see they have a common denominator - of three figures, one might say. All these occupations are rhythmical, monotonous, and wordless. That is our key." "In other words, every Author, in some way in which he has come on by luck or long search, puts himself into a very light state of hypnosis". She also talks about a woman who "found that her stories fell into line best when she was at work on the kitchen floor, scrubbing", and that "she convinced herself completely that she would be unable to write again till she got back to the rhythmical monotony of the scrubbing brush"

    And from the section, 'wordless daydreams': "Most persons who are attracted by the idea of fiction at all are, or were in childhood, great dreamers. At almost any moment they can catch themselves, at some level, deep in reverie. Occasionally this reverie takes the form of recasting one's life, day by day or moment by moment, into a form somewhat nearer to the heart's desire: reconstructing conversations and arguments so that we come out with colors flying and epigrams falling around us like sparks, or imagining ourselves back in a simpler and happier period. Or adventure is coming toward us around the next corner, and we have already made up our minds as to the form it will take. All those naive and satisfying dreams of which we are the unashamed heroes or heroines are the very stuff of fiction, almost the MATERIA PRIMA of fiction. A little sophistication, a little experience, we realize that we are not going to be allowed to carry off the honors in real life without a struggle; there are too many contenders for the role of leading lady or leading man. So, learning discretion and guile, we cast the matter a little differently; we objectify the ideal self that has caused us so much pleasure and write about him in the third person. And hundreds of our fellows, engaged secretly in just such daydreaming as our own, see themselves in our fictional characters and fall to reading when fatigue or disenchantment robs them of their ability to see themselves under any glamorous guise. The little Brontes, with their kingdom of Gonda-land, the infant Alcotts, young Robert Browning, and HG Wells all led an intensive dream-life which carried over into their maturity and took another form; and there are hundreds of authors who could tell the same stories of their youth. But there are probably thousands more who never grow up as writers. They are too self-conscious, too humble, or too solidly set in the habit of daydreaming idly. After all, we begin our storytelling, usually, long before we are able to print simple words with infinite labor. It is little wonder that the glib unconscious should balk at the drudgery of committing its stories to writing."

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  11. #8
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    I'll read that a bit later...but would like to address some misconceptions. You eventually learn that it doesn't matter what the client wants, you do your best to deliver your best. Yeah, it can make you shake your head, bitch it out with friends, etc. but in the end it doesn't make much difference, you just need to find pleaure in whatever it is.

    There are some real misconceptions about concept art...probably needs a new thread to discuss them. But for starters you can't have any ego. Save your ego for personal work you do for yourself. Concept art is a brutal crucible if you let your ego be involved. By its very nature most of your work will never be seen, it won't be executed to your satisfaction, and everyone who can will pee on it. It's just part of the occupation.

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    Being an artist and being an illustrator (and a concept artist is a kind of illustrator) are two different skill sets. Being an artist is solitary, being an illustrator is social. Just because you can make the prettiest pictures in the world doesn't mean you have what it takes to work collaboratively with people.


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  15. #10
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    "maladaptive daydreaming disorder"
    Holy crap, my entire life is explained.

    and just because there's a lot of creativity doesn't mean that the ideas are any good
    Have you ever tried writing stories? Even if your ideas aren't very good (that in itself is subjective), writing and reading more may help develop those ideas into something greater.

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  17. #11
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    Ideas are interesting things...they're actually far cheaper than a dime a dozen...in fact, they're relatively worthless. It is only through execution that they come to life and have any value or existence.

    I'm pretty sure I have the same thing I guess lapprenti...the MDD thing...we just never had names for stuff like that and thought it was a good thing. And believe me, if someone ever told me I had maladaptive anything they'd wake up later on the floor.

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  19. #12
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    an average idea can become something amazing. Harry Potter. Really break it down. The story is actually very very simplistic. Not much of it breaks the mold at all. They have a few interesting concepts you don't hear 'often' but it's fairly average in terms of what goes on.


    She just knows how to really spin a story.

    Same with most stories and comics I read nowadays.
    Everythings been done, but the things that come out on top just are done well.
    Works the same with art I see as well. It doesn't have to break the mold to be amazing.
    In fact most don't.



    There are the rare occasions where I see something and it's an "Oh wow that's just really cool. Never heard of something like that really". But it still has to be executed well enough.

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  21. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JFierce View Post
    an average idea can become something amazing. Harry Potter. Really break it down. The story is actually very very simplistic. Not much of it breaks the mold at all. They have a few interesting concepts you don't hear 'often' but it's fairly average in terms of what goes on.
    What's funny is that some people are good at ideas but can't execute them whereas others can't come up with the ideas but do well with them. I'll take your example of Harry Potter. Its basic framework is borrowed from Ursula K. Leguin's Earth Sea. To the point that people have asked Ursula about it and she responded that Harry Potter was "Highly derivative". Yet who can argue that Harry Potter isn't more successful.

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