My Favorite Part of Design

I saw a rockumentary about the band Kansas. They told the story of how Carry on My Wayward Son was written by Kerry Livgren. From Wikipedia:

On the last day of rehearsal for the new album, Livgren brought the band one more song, which they performed once before heading to the studio. The song, “Carry On Wayward Son“, became Kansas’ first hit.

Specifically, he said that he was finished writing songs for the album and all of the sudden, the song as a whole appeared in his head as if it had been beamed there from outer space.

I know this feeling very well. In high school, when I painted something, I could never remember doing it. I let myself disappear into the process. I didn’t exist for those periods of creativity. I let my subconscious take over. When I saw the finished product, I thought, “Gee, I wish I could make this.” As if my subconscious was a different person. When people talk of a muse, I think this is what they mean.

Yesterday, I designed something new. I remember playing with it, but I don’t remember when the idea struck me. At some point I looked at it and smiled. I wish I could design that.

This is my favorite part of design. Losing oneself in the process. I love letting go. I love having something new. There aren’t that many opportunities in life to make things. I want to cherish every one.

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