In the majority of scientific techniques, the word “background” has a very negative connotation. It usually implies that your detection method picked up something else besides the specific signal you were looking for. People even go as far as calling their images “dirty”. In microscopy, that non-specific “noise” usually appears in the form of either randomly scattered bright pixels, or as a general haze of autofluorescence all around your cells. In contrast, high quality images usually have a very clean, black background, that when printed has a glossy feel to it. To capture this quality, I use shiny black satin as the backdrop for NeuroBead renderings. It gives the piece a clean and crisp look that allows the cells to really pop forward.
In my daily life there is also a lot of background noise. I have two daughters who have an unlimited amount of energy. It does not take much for them to put me out of focus and make me feel scatterbrained. But when I find some time to sit down a make my artwork, I can zoom in with a laser like focus and find myself in a state of “flow” as described by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
Last night, I was talking to someone on the phone, and the topic of NeuroBead came up. The conversation suddenly took a sharp turn and a series of questions was fired at me.
“Why do you want/need to do this?”
“Don’t you have enough on your plate already?”
“As it is you barely find any free time. How will you manage?”
I think there is a logical order to these well-meaning questions. First comes the “why” and if the reason is good enough, the “hows” will fall into place. For me, it is because the creative process allows me to concentrate on my inner world and at least temporarily drown out the background noise. It brings my life into focus.
Check out this growth cone here!