Tag Archives: creativity

Intentional vs Unintentional

Self collage with mat

These thoughts were prompted by another self portrait which I produced yesterday – all of a sudden. Again.  I claim that I am not inclined to introspection and I never really take to self portraiture deliberately, so one can say that my self portraits, of which I already have five (??) are unintentional. Looking at them raises two questions – one, of course, is what do these self portraits tell me about me and the other – what is the role of intention in art – mine and in general. As a person not inclined to introspection as proclaimed, I am more interested in the latter.

In my view, intention has to do with one’s sense of mission and purpose – things undoubtedly very important. But then, sticking to intention, or rather, to the principle of intentionality requires control – the instant creativity killer. Is intention in art antipodal to creativity?

Looking at my work in general, I can divide it into two parts – completely unintentional – most of it you can see here, and intentional – or rather work that has started with intention.  On two instances already, I have started working on an intention – something a lot less specific than a plan, but with a certain vision in mind. Both times the end result has hardly anything to do with my initial vision/intention. One resulted in the Abduction series and the other – in the  pieces which I am working on at the moment – you can see them Here and here. What I found out is that intention, once I start working on it (and this is a long thought process with or without a pen in hand), leads me outside itself. It is not even a gradual shift but an abrupt revelation – an idea literally strikes.

Then there is the unintentional work, which usually occurs when I decide to try this or that technique, and which includes some of (what I believe are) my best pieces. I usually have no specific idea or outcome in mind when I do that.

The question which I am pondering over is whether creativity is born at the point when intention meets serendipity. Let me know your thoughts.

Wonder Why He Cut Off His Ear?


I don’t know how but suddenly my profile photo on Facebook,  became popular and generated 28 likes and 17 comments. A shot of me, a bit better than a passport photo, has been there for months. It is the same I use in WP in case you are curious.

At the same time, my post Eros and Thanatos, which I personally consider the best thing I’ve ever written, generated nothing.

I have 152 followers on my Facebook art page and I am positive that at least half of them are seriously intelligent and well read people, who know what Eros and Thanatos mean.  Silence.  While my dumb smiley photo received 20+ compliments. I shall not elaborate on which segment of my audience they came from ‘coz it hurts’.

You wonder why the guy cut off his ear? I bet it was because  people around him saw his self portrait and said that he  looked terrific for his age. And gave him a Like.

What the hell is wrong here? Is it me or is it my judgement for people? Either way I feel like an idiot. I want to quit FB and the whole nonsense –  not for the first time at that.

Here is what Jean Dubuffet said in an interview with Michael Peppiatt: After all real artists are antisocial people – they go against received ideas and mental habits. If they invent, it is because they are not content with what’s already there. And it’s just that discontent – being angry and dissatisfied with what other people have made – that forms the lifeblood of creativity’.

Quit Facebook? – I see the good authors of ‘how to sell your art’ books leap from their chairs – nowadays social media is everything. If you are not connected, you do not exist.

Reader, social media or real artist?

Back to Dubuffet. Before turning to art in his forties, he was a successful wine merchant, so he must have known something about marketing. Here is what he had to say: ‘The trouble is that nowadays (the interview was taken in 1977 – B.K.) (…), artists have become more concerned with presenting their work than creating it. They’ve got two quite separate functions muddled up. Creating is antisocial, swimming against the tide of what is already accepted and admired, but the whole business of presenting one’s work to the public is a highly social activity. And when you mix the two you get something inferior, like a wine that’s been cut with a bit of this and a bit of that.”

Dubuffet or the marketing gurus?

I haven’t quit Facebook yet. I haven’t cut off my ear either – just replaced my profile photo with a photo of Kim Kardashian, which is just as bad thing to do to oneself, but not as irreversible:


And here comes the worst part: since I did it, it has been raining Likes.

You still wonder why the guy cut off his ear?