Jigsaw Butterflies

I’m writing this to help you understand the idea of concept development as the basis for the production of a body of work. You’ll have to stay with me here as I am about to hit you with a rather abstract idea via the internet where you don’t get to ask questions or even look at me funny.
Imagine, if you will, a jigsaw puzzle set in front of you on a table. It isn’t a very complicated puzzle and it has a limited number of pieces, say 20. This puzzle represents a concept on which you will develop a body of visual work or a musical composition. The problem is that the puzzle isn’t assembled. The pieces are all over the top of your table and make very little sense at all as a completed concept. Each piece represents some part of the rather fuzzy concept that you are charged with developing but for now they just don’t seem to want to fit together. You can play with them for a while with the hope that you will be able to fit them together into a recognizable idea. There is one problem: Each time you touch one, it turns into a butterfly and floats over the top of the table just out of reach. The magic of it all is that one by one you will work out your idea and each butterfly will settle within your reach where you can then place it on the table. Little by little you have then grabbed enough of the butterflies so that the puzzle begins to take shape and the beginning of an image forms. You can only grab ahold of each butterfly piece when you have thought long and hard enough for it to represent a fragment of your total idea and then the pieces come willingly to your hand and then to the table.
This is the puzzle that our artists have been grappling with. Slowly, each of them has turned the elusive butterfly pieces into a cohesive and well thought out concept that goes willingly to paper, scratchboard or musical instrument.
Hope this helps…

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