I have to admit, I have not been here in a while. Life has been a bit hectic. Every time I thought about writing, the same topic came to mind – the dichotomy of art and science. I have written before about how science and art are considered to be at the polar opposite ends of the spectrum of logic and creativity. How can they live in harmony in one person? The word “harmony” reminds me of how I have also written about the concept of “flow” described by the Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. At that point I have not read the book “Flow” yet, and was only basing my writing on the descriptions of flow I was able to find online. Based on these descriptions, I was reaching the ultimate state of flow while working on my beadwork.
Last holiday season, I received a gift certificate for Audible. My husband wanted to brighten up my long daily commute to work. The very first book I purchased was “Flow”. Little did I expect that the vast majority of examples of flow experiences given in the book mostly refer to professions in art and science. Throughout the book, these two fields were regularly put side by side under the umbrella of creativity. Well, then I have the best of both worlds. Scientist by day, artist by night.
Another analogy between these fields that has been on my mind is the concept of style and reputation. Apparently, the two polar opposite fields have a lot in common here as well. During my training in academia, I was always bothered by the fact that while scientists seek to discover new knowledge, they feel obligated to continuously support their previous views to keep up appearances. If a scientist says that the Earth is flat, but then finds evidence that points otherwise, he/she still feels obligated to stick to his/her guns. Otherwise, they risk being marked as a person who flip-flops and cannot keep their story straight (and establish themselves). It puts their reputation at risk. Therefore, a lot of (particularly young) scientists are overly cautious about questioning dogmas. This in turn hinders the speed of scientific discovery.
More recently, as I began to explore the world of art and handmade crafts, a lot of similar themes began to emerge. While it is not surprising that artists are expected to develop a style to be recognized, the concept of consistency almost appears to halt the creative process. The primary example is social media, such as Instagram. Each artist is expected to post pictures in a consistent color scheme and style to give their viewers a sense of cohesiveness. But doesn’t that kind of tie our hands? If I get a crazy, novel idea I want to try out, should I worry whether it will fit into my usual color scheme?
So just to show that variety is the spice of life (while sticking to the rule of blogging with pictures), here is my latest series of scientific hair clips made to order in an assortment of colors.
Check out my Instagram account for more regular updates of my artwork!