Blaine Hogan’s UNTITLED: Thoughts on the Creative Process is a declaration of war against the blank page.
In this interview with long-time creator Blaine (Creative Director at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL) you will get a taste of his insights on attacking the blank page, executing vision, getting more out of contemplation, and as Blaine writes, “creating beauty from the inside out.”
Full disclosure: Blaine’s UNTITLED eBook isn’t published by Zondervan, but I believe you creators (writers, pastors, teachers, worship leaders, and artists of all stripes) will be encouraged and empowered by Blaine’s perspective. I look forward to hearing your comments! -AF
ZBLOG: In UNTITLED you ask, “Is there anything in my work I love so much I would eat it?” That’s my first question: What are you hungry for?
BLAINE: Movement. Heart movement. In myself first and then in an audience. I’m starving for and always on the lookout for something that I find deeply moving. As I continue to explore this discipline of the creative process, I find that the more I can discipline myself to being open and to exploring various corners of things, the chances for finding things in this vein dramatically increase. And when I find something that moves me, I want to eat it. I want to internalize it, through the lens of my own story — then I want to figure out the best way to tell it.
ZBLOG: You support artistic “fringe exploration” and “rebellion,” but you also observe, “sometimes artists get so carried away with their rebellion they begin to wage war with their own center of gravity.” What is your center of gravity? And how do you recommend other artists stay centered?
BLAINE: Put simply, the continually refining work of Christ in my life. I grew up Catholic so I find myself repeating the Lord’s Prayer throughout the day without even knowing it. For me this has always been centering. Contemplation is another thing I use to stay centered. Probably everyone reading this works in a fast paced environment, and the opportunity for silence and meditation I imagine is rare. However, if we aren’t quiet, I’m not sure we can stay centered. When we stop we recognize our breath — something we didn’t “work” to do. It just happens. This is the cosmic mystery of Christ within us. We center ourselves when we stop.
ZBLOG: A good number of people I know, both non-Christians and Christians, believe that creative thinking and doctrinal thinking are at loggerheads. Do you see a tension between the artist’s work and the theologian’s? Or can Michaelangelo and Martin Luther sit at the same table?