Process of Exceptionalism

The Process

Process happens. We learn to crawl before we walk. We walk before we run. In our early years, we have training wheels before we can honestly have the confidence to go with two wheels on a bike.

Creativity is a process, too. In architecture school, we would study the meaning behind a project, interpreting the essential elements. Then I would create three dimensional, vocabulary vignettes of those critical elements. Those vocabulary studies folded into the overall model or sketches in the more significant design. It made sense to me. It was a process and a creative one, too.

Jackson Pollock, the abstract artist, is all about this method. He calculated and planned his artwork in this manner. Pollock focused on the formation of the art. He incorporated the movement of his body. The spraying, trickling, and splattering of paint were precise. And, he used gravity as part of the equation. As a result, his technique became known as “process art.” Or, for me, the process IS the art.

I enjoy this concept. My life pursuits employ this type of processing. I believe I’m skilled at this method toward projects.

Cooking, for example, is nothing but a process. I still follow recipes. However, many of the household favorites improved over time with subtle changes and purposeful tweaks. But, you start with step one, then step two, etc.

Ultimately, I firmly believe each step in a process has meaning. Each element is essential. If every step works well, the procedure ensures a more successful outcome.

The Exception Proves the Rule

I have heard this saying uttered in many fashions. But, the correct explanation and definition is the presence of an exception given a particular case proves that a general rule exists.

A fair amount of people want to BE the exception. Rules, for them, don’t apply. They are free to do what they want when they want. They desire to be different. Unique Instagram posts get noticed. People talk about the unusual and the same old, same old gets passed over.

Most rule breakers don’t understand “process.”  Many young people (my kids included) lack the fundamental practice of understanding the basics. Master the rules first and then find unique ways to improve on them. Create the exception by mastering the method.

The Flaw

I get criticized occasionally. Admonishment for being boring happens. However, contrary to the ways of my younger self, I believe in specific routines and regiments today. Maybe this path of life is a process in and of itself. My older self learned from his youthful over-exuberance.

To use a baseball analogy, I’m stable at hitting singles. I don’t swing for the fences like my home run angling friends. But, I don’t strike out as often as they do either.

Like Jackson Pollock, my process IS the art. It IS the game. It IS the best part of life.

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