When trying to create an artwork, you are often trying to send a message. The purpose of your art might be to show the horrors of war like in Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ or it might be to question what counts as art like in Yves Klein’s ‘The Void’. You may be an artist trying to create something beautiful, a product designer trying to make more people buy your product, or an activist trying to change the world. In any regard, and allowing a rather expansive definition of art, your art must send this message with every fibre of its being. Every part of the artwork should reflect this purpose, such that you can be facing an innumerable number of creative decisions, from what medium, to what colours to use, to how many brushstrokes it should take you.
This process of realising your intent requires a good deal of creativity and imagination, and from my experience writing this report I would argue that the process of research exercises the very same muscles. This was a lovely realisation I had while I was working on one of the proofs in my report, trying to imagine a way to concisely and clearly make readers believe what I was claiming. Obviously having some passion for the subject helps, but even then when you’re given a problem, the tools to handle it, and free rein on trying to find a solution it is hard not to become creative.
I often felt that creating something is often helped by having what I called, probably unoriginally, creative constraints, limitations on what you can do or essentially creative decisions that have already been made and are forced upon you. Rather than restricting you though, they can help put some order and bounds on what is otherwise an infinite and cacophonous space of possible decisions. To me at least it seems like writing a report on a field of research like mathematics is just another creative constraint, that can guide you down a path of imagination you would never think to encounter between the dense lines of proofs and equations.
The University of Newcastle