The Adjacent Possible Blog

Explore The Adjacent Possible, a foundational pillar for creativity on The Artist’s Journey. Insights into intersections of art, psychology and science.

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The Hero’s Journey & Art

The Hero’s Journey & Art

The Hero's Journey & Art   Our lives are a hero's journey of moving from the known to the unknown and returning back again, transformed. As artists, we continually step into the unknown and evolve our work. We search and find our way, lose and find ourselves in our paintings and explore and experiment on our journey of self expression. I'm reminded of the writings of Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) who, in his literary masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, embarked on a perilous journey to find...

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Creativity and Einstein’s Riddle

Creativity and Einstein’s Riddle

The difference between art and science is that for scientists the constraints of the riddle, the clues, are provided by Nature. Artists are able to create their own constraints, each artwork is a small world unto itself.

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Creativity  & The Power Of Subtraction

Creativity & The Power Of Subtraction

After Beauvais, the world stopped building tall Gothic cathedrals. The idea literally collapsed under its own weight. But the life of a creative isn’t so different—Once a successful painting or piece of music is created, the temptation is to evolve by addition—to repeat what worked before, making minor variations on the original idea by adding distinguishing components, and hoping one’s creations sell before people figure out there’s nothing new. 

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Writ in Water: Invisibility, Ephemerality & Creativity

Writ in Water: Invisibility, Ephemerality & Creativity

Nothing happens in a vacuum, because even the vacuum of space is not “nothing,” Quantum field theory tells us that it is the sum of all unrealized possibilities. From electron-positron pairs to all the works Shakespeare might have written, admittedly with very low probability.

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Creativity & Turbulence

Creativity & Turbulence

The laws of physics do not negotiate nor make exceptions. Even so, the Universe is more diverse than we can know or imagine. How such rigidity can enable such complexity remains one of the grand mysteries of existence.

It is turbulent times in history that disturb the status quo, that upset the equilibrium, that create opportunity where none existed before. Turbulence allows new ideas, leaders, and technologies to emerge.

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Creativity, Pareidolia & Finding Patterns

Creativity, Pareidolia & Finding Patterns

A recent word and concept that appeared in our local news is pareidolia, which connects to our experience with word games in that it is a word we’ve never heard before but might have stumbled onto doing exercises in letter combinatorics. This word describes in medical terminology the human tendency to find patterns in experiences or sensations where there are none.

Exploring the unknown, the adjacent possible, is a fundamentally iterative procedure, like the Dutch building dikes to incrementally capture more and more of the sea-bed. Each exploration creates a new bit of “land” to stand on for the next exploration and incorporation.

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The Search For Creative Perfection

The Search For Creative Perfection

Like many things, this process of assemblage can be viewed as a search problem. We are searching for a configuration of elements-in relationships, in elements of a work of art, or in the construction of an object. We may be attempting to satisfy external criteria or our own.

Exploring the unknown, the adjacent possible, is a fundamentally iterative procedure, like the Dutch building dikes to incrementally capture more and more of the sea-bed. Each exploration creates a new bit of “land” to stand on for the next exploration and incorporation.

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FREE WORKSHOP: The #1 Secret to Creating Authentic Abstract Paintings You Love!

You question your talent, and painting becomes arduous and painful. You feel lost, wanting to express yourself but not knowing how. But when you learn the #1 secret to creating authentic abstract paintings, it all changes. Finally, you're able to paint with joy and create art you love.

About Nancy Hillis
Nancy believes that your most astonishing work comes from deep exploration and experimentation. She encourages you to find the nascent, unexpressed parts of yourself, give voice to your subconscious experiences, and finally express YOU in your art and life.