Second Realm

Eric P. Rhodes, Artist

Understanding the Creative Process


The Art of Remixing

The first thing to understand is that art does not exist in isolation. Artists are constantly absorbing information, both consciously and unconsciously, from their surroundings. This information is then filtered through their unique perspectives and experiences, resulting in artwork that is a reflection of their interaction with the world.

Art is a conversation, a dialogue that spans across time and space, connecting us to the past, the present, and the future. It’s a complex process of absorbing, interpreting, and reimagining the world around us. However, this process is often misunderstood, leading to misconceptions about originality and creativity.

People often try to categorize the creative process using terms like ‘inspiration’, ‘homage’, ‘copying’, ‘remixing’, ‘stealing’, or ‘imitating’. These labels are attempts to define and box in the fluid and subjective nature of creativity. However, they often fall short, as they fail to capture the essence of the creative process.

Many people believe that their ideas are ‘original’, ‘one of a kind’, or ‘never seen before’. However, this is a misconception. Every idea is built upon a foundation of previous ideas. This doesn’t diminish the value of the idea, but rather, it highlights the interconnectedness of all creative endeavors. As I often tweet, “nothing is original, everything is a remix.”

Friction occurs when people are unaware of their influences or when they deny them. There is a gap between those who unconsciously reinterpret the world through their art and those who consciously acknowledge and embrace their influences. This gap can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts about the nature of creativity and originality.

Understanding that “everything is a remix” can liberate us from the pressure of trying to be ‘original’. It allows us to see art as a communal endeavor, a shared dialogue that we are all a part of. By acknowledging and embracing our influences, we can create art that is not only a reflection of ourselves but also a part of the larger conversation that is art.

Art is not created in a vacuum, but it’s sometimes experienced in one. It’s a process of absorbing, interpreting, and reimagining the world around us. And while the labels we use to define this process may vary, the essence remains the same: art is a remix, a reinterpretation of the world through our unique lenses.