I like thinking.

I like thinking about complicated ideas.

I like thinking I can understand complicated ideas.

I like thinking that I’m pretty good at thinking.

Thinking, however, is easy.

Thinking well is not.

It isn’t enough just to think something that no one else has thought about before. I can think lots of things. I can think of a dog wearing a tuxedo marrying a cat in a wedding dress.

I can think of a science fiction film directed by Wes Anderson.

I can think of Roman gladiators taking a selfie at the Colosseum.

I can think those things, but… so what?

Just because I can think something doesn’t mean that it is important or that it is worth my time or anyone else’s time.

How I think is far more important to me than what I think.

And what I think is far more important to me than what I make.

If the thoughts aren’t there, the making doesn’t happen.

Over the years I have learned that thinking about things from a different angle can reveal otherwise unseen ‘truths’. I have learned that digging away at a topic using small, logical steps can provide a deep understanding and clarity that was previous unavailable to me. I have learned to turn that forensic enquiry around onto myself and question my own thought processes in order to make sure I am not slipping into ‘unusual’ modes of thinking.

And yet…

I am prone to apophenic thinking. Apophenia is “the tendency to perceive meaningful connections between unrelated things.” To me, this is a vital part of creative thought. Noticing patterns and seeing connections between unconnected things and finding the appropriate way to express those patterns and connections is what I spend most of my time doing. Sometimes this is trivially easy – the answer comes to me in a flash – and at other times it is like pulling teeth with a pair of tweezers…

I still try to ground my ideas in knowledge, information, research and logic. To me, this is where the ‘depth’ of a work comes from. It isn’t enough, for me, just to have something work on the surface. I need it to be firmly based in established knowledge and thought.

“Anyone” can make pretty pictures.

Prompt “Tropical birds flowers, chinoiserie –ar 16:9 –v 5.1”

But I want to try to think my way into making things that make people think.

Prompt: “A photo of Black Square painting by Kazimir Malevich. –v 5.1”