Top or Bottom?

Here was my thought while driving yesterday: there are two kinds of creative people. Those who visualize the ideal and then try to create something that resembles their ideal as completely as possible, and those who take bits and pieces of reality as starting blocks and see what they can create from that.

Top Down People….

Those who visualize the ideal might create a reasoned-out guideline to how the work should be organized. They know what they want, but not necessarily how to create it. Theirs is a world of symmetry and order with a rational mind at work behind it trying to approximate the perfection they imagined. They can be dissatisfied when their creation isn’t perfect according to their pre-determined ideal.

Bottom Up People…

are realists, in a sense. They work from the bottom up, with pieces of reality whether it be an overheard sentence, the look in someone’s eye, or an old car part. They imagine the potential of that thing in connection with this other thing. Their world is forever in pieces that they are trying to put together, which can be chaotic but also full of endless possibilities.

That’s not to say people can’t behave either way at different times, but I definitely lean toward the latter. What do you think? Does the top down/ bottom up distinction make sense to you? Are you a top or a bottom?

7 thoughts on “Top or Bottom?

  1. I’m definitely a top down. I’m a dreamer who always starts with a clearly defined vision, followed by a long period of struggling to find ways of turning the vision into a reality.

    I never have any problem finding the ideas. Money is the enemy.

  2. I think all artists are bottom up in terms of formulating a process, and all artists are top down while constructing. The difference to me is each artist’s stride.

    Artists can conceptualize going from the bottom to very far up and have a clear idea. While other artists, take smaller strides compounding ideas from step to step.

    While constructing, artists can work top down and start off all the way up with an intricate ideal and have a long ways to go, while others work with looking slightly ahead making tiny changes in mind.

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