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Old 04-26-2012, 10:36 AM
fritzie fritzie is offline
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20,000 Leagues under the Sea?

Many people I know use the term immersion proudly as a synonym for focusing for a short time, maybe a half hour, on one thing without distraction. I wonder whether any of you sometimes experience or struggle with the different experience that I think of as immersion - getting so fully engaged in a project that you become like a many ton submarine, not hovering peacefully just below the service for a half hour but rather whirling in every aspect down near the bottom of the ocean from a place from which it is hard to return to the surface even after days.
I am not saying this is necessarily a bad thing! It could, however, be a scary thing for the creative person or his family when they see it coming on.
But I have a feeling that what I think of immersion, so different from the common usage, is not rare for highly creative people.

Last edited by fritzie : 04-26-2012 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:43 PM
Use Her Name's Avatar
Use Her Name Use Her Name is offline
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Re: 20,000 Leagues under the Sea?

I am on the autistim spectrum -- Many times I have had to force myself out of that fixation or concentration or whatever it is called because "life calls." One unfortunate thing about high functioning autism/ or aspergers, which ever test you are basing it on, is that we are generally fixated on a variety of subjects, often " child prodigies" who basically can't tie our own shoes. This prodigy label comes with the kind of "concentration" that would make other people's brains boil.

Anyway, your 20,000 leagues under the sea analogy is pretty accurate. I totally close my self up to become a "machine" in a way. Art is almost a kind of Grand Mal seizure of the creative mind. Then, after that has passed, you just tinker for another six months and throw it in the garbage or sell it depending on what it looks like.
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:37 PM
AllisonR AllisonR is offline
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Re: 20,000 Leagues under the Sea?

Interesting thread. I fall somewhere in between. Half hour and I am only just a deep swimmer. I go down, way down, and can be there for hours. I only partially come up to go to the toilet, drink water... I don't know how to explain this type of coming up - sort of I can go up one or two levels and get to the toilet and back, but not up to surface enough carry on a normal, social conversation. From this state I can quickly go back down to my painting level, and continue for hours more. However, I do eventually come up, usually due to interruption like very sore muscles or having to go to work. And when I come up to the surface, I am pretty much up there - but I can be sort of dreamy and adrift for a short while. Usually not days though. Family/friends always just accepted this foggy part as part of me, part of the creative artist I am.

Now I have kids, so painting 10 hours straight just does not happen anymore. I am more efficient about getting down there, and being able to come up again when needed. But I can only be so efficient about that sort of thing, if you know what I mean. For example, pre-kids, when I was down there, it was almost painfully jarring if someone came and interrupted me and expected a serious conversation. Now it still annoys me, but it is not so harsh. I can deal with it better. But it still takes time. And a half hour or hour is almost a waste, unless it is painting that doesn't require that depth.
Being born places you at a greater risk of dying later in life.

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Old 05-13-2012, 08:44 AM
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robertsloan2 robertsloan2 is offline
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Re: 20,000 Leagues under the Sea?

I've done total immersion on a project more often with novel writing than with painting. It's got its benefits. Among them, I can retain details of the project and keep them in perspective easier. I can remember the names of a large cast of characters and maintain plot continuity even on very minor things if I'm not interrupted by anything else demanding my full attention.

Art and painting, I generally immerse for much shorter periods of time. I prefer finishing a piece in one sitting but I can break it up into several, separated by doing other things that demand my full attention.

Robert A. Sloan, proud member of the Oil Pastel Society
Site owner, artist and writer of http://www.explore-oil-pastels-with-robert-sloan.com
blogs: Rob's Art Lessons and Rob's Daily Painting
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Old 05-13-2012, 09:39 AM
fritzie fritzie is offline
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Re: 20,000 Leagues under the Sea?

Thank you, Use Her Name, Allison, and Robert for your replies. Robert you raise the interesting dimension that the degree to which a person truly immerses in something (with detachment from other things), both the depth and the duration, is likely driven by something in a person's temperament as well as the kind of project underway. When you describe the novel in its multivariate complexity, the choice of the immersive style is logical even as it is also automatic. I know people who believe any project can readily be undertaken in little pieces. The likely reason they hold to this belief is that they are not drawn to projects involving complexity of this sort, where complexity means what you describe rather than the challenge of the work. While time moves linearly, there is a difference between being able only to write one word at a time and actually isolating focus on one word at a time. In writing a novel a scene needs to anticipate other scenes even as one writes it, and a word other words.

Last edited by fritzie : 05-13-2012 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:10 PM
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BettyTwin BettyTwin is offline
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Re: 20,000 Leagues under the Sea?

For a creative person immersion is important means no distraction of anything so that he can get good result of his hardwork.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:36 AM
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Re: 20,000 Leagues under the Sea?

To be able to sink in for short periods, you need to "know your song well before you sing it" as Bob Dylan sang. Most artists are "experimenters" who have a general idea of what the work will look like, so there is still a lot of "tinkering" that needs to be done. This is (to me) not about personality, it is about the art process in general. Some people are simply closer to the outcome when they begin, some are farther away. The complexity of a project is the judge. I've begun to do some non-figurative "modern" work, knowing there is a market, but also because I know that I am ultimately closer to the outcome at the start because much of the tinkering work can be done on paper while I am working on other projects, and that makes the final result all a matter of putting it together.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:11 PM
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claude j greengrass claude j greengrass is offline
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Re: 20,000 Leagues under the Sea?

I've been a programmer (computers) for more than 30 years. Not employed now as no one wants to hire a 60+ programmer, but when I was in the middle of a code change or new section, I went way down and away for this conscious plane. A interruption was very disturbing and usual caused an adrenaline shock and took a long time to recover from and get back into the mindset I was in.
It is only on a basis of knowledge that we can become free to compose naturally. -- Bernard Dunstan
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Old 08-08-2012, 05:59 AM
tylerzachary412 tylerzachary412 is offline
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Re: 20,000 Leagues under the Sea?

This is an interesting way of self expression. For example, I use a simple walk in nature, looking at trees, at flowers. This is very harmonic environment and it always throws me some ideas. Paradox, but that's the power of nature
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:00 AM
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Border Corpsman Border Corpsman is offline
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Re: 20,000 Leagues under the Sea?

I have experienced this but for me it's a lot like going to sleep only more enjoyable. Suddenly it dawns on me that it's dark outside and I look over at the clock and 4 hours have passed. I absolutely love it. Much like laying down at night and opening your eyes to the morning sun several hours later. The time passes without thought (unless you are dreaming of course... or remember your dreams to be more accurate).
"A man of knowledge uses words with restraint and a man of understanding is even-tempered." -Proverbs
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:17 PM
ArtsyCakes ArtsyCakes is offline
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Re: 20,000 Leagues under the Sea?

Oh I know that feeling well, and oh do I miss it so.
I used to go down so deep that my friends, teachers, etc would have to literally shake me. My art teacher in High School used to laugh and say he loved to see me "down there"
That teacher actually fought with the school to get me to stay in his class for every semester I had.

These days I can't get there. With working full time and having two kids I don't get as much time as I used to.
I NEED to make time for this.
I really miss that feeling.

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