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The Molten Mind Space

The Molten Mind Space

What is the molten mind space and how does it help you create better art?

Where do art ideas come from?

Anywhere and everywhere is the answer. We unpack concepts from the art which we consume on a daily basis, like Russian dolls. But, the best way to uncover these ideas is to keep an open mind.

Keep an open mind

First and foremost, it is important to keep an open mind. Anything goes. Anything can become art. A piece of rubbish on the street might make a fantastic drawing, or a piece of rusted metal might make the perfect texture for a painting in Photoshop. Take the blue of the sky or the refraction of light in raindrops. Take the ripple of grass and leaves in the warm summer's wind. Nature is the first, and best teacher.

But equally the most seemingly unimportant, banal programme on tv might spark a creative idea for a painting or sculpture. A poster in a railway station or an online advert might get your creative juices flowing. The pattern on a scarf or other item of clothing can be a good starting place. Or the fonts used in logos.


Use a sketchbook to record these ideas as you go about your day to day activities. A pocket notebook works just as well as a fancy leather-bound job.

Record visuals; but also note down in text form any abstract concepts, words or thoughts which you associate with the image. This will help you to remember why the image was important enough to be sketched. Also, where that image is going to take you...

Everything is connected

Once you have one idea, very often it will spark another. And another. And another. Soon you come to realise that the glimmer of sunlight on a tree branch made you think of the spotlights sparkling off a celebrity singer's hair on tv. A piece of rubbish by the road looks like a poor dead bird and the flowers on that woman's scarf resemble faces. (Spooky!)

Everything is connected in this world, whether we realise it or not. The mind makes connections between things which are related (or not) because the brain looks for resemblances, and forms connections through superficial resemblance. This is only one form of connection. Most of the five senses can be used to connect one thing to another in our brains.

Art happens at the nodes

In the nodes, or intersections, where these connections occur, is where art takes place. Using the examples above can spark some weirdly surreal art.

I see the light shining on the leaves of a tree and remember the singer on tv. The juxtaposition of these two images in my mind produces the overlapping vision that the singer is performing a live act outdoors, where the sun is shining, when on tv it was in a studio. If I was to paint this piece I would have the reference, in my sketchbook, of the leaves to refer to.

The poor dead bird on the road is an origami bird, discarded by a child.

The lady with the scarf has a real face peering out from the fabric which is about to swallow her whole!

Roots and shoots forming a rhizome

Molten Imagining

The scientific definition of a rhizome is "a subterranean plant stem that sends out roots and shoots from its nodes." Known as rootstalks, this is used by the philosophers Deluze and Guttari as an analogy for systems thinking. Systems thinking is a holistic method of analysis used to understand complex, interlinked problems, by considering all of the parts as interconnected. We would not have the term "ecosystem" if it were not for this method of thought.

Systems thinking is what I like to think of as molten imaginings. Welcome to the molten mind space!

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