“The Cloudy Region Between Idea and Image”

“I sketch my ideas. My inner process of creation lies in the cloudy region between idea and image. From that region, my mind shapes image and form, and my hand obeys.” -Michelangelo Buonarroti

During his career, Michelangelo mastered painting, architecture, and sculpture. Some of his most ambitious works fused all three. While I’ll never know the heights of artistic achievement that he attained, I think the above quote reveals something about the creative process that any artist or designer can relate to. When I am working on a design, it usually means that I’m sketching on paper or shopping for groceries while design solutions form in that “cloudy region between idea and image.” I like the idea that this area of the mind is one that all people – creative professionals or not – participate in and generate all kinds of thoughts and ideas from.

It comes as no surprise that even when Michelangelo was making casual remarks about his artistic process, he revealed something truthful about the experience of being human.

David Lynch touches on the same subject with his definition of intuition, which is “the combination of emotion and intellect.” In this brief clip, Lynch says, “Intuition is the number one tool of the artist.”

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