The first act of creativity is always to listen.

The first act of creativity is always to listen.


The first act of creativity is always to listen. When we listen and observe, we create the right seeds so our expression explodes! There are strong parallels between architecture and film. Creatives usually start with a basic concept, coming from memory, a relationship to something, or from a precedent of some kind. It is important to have an understanding of some of the limitations of the concept so the possibilities can truly be explored. In some way, we strive to create a complete detailed concept that we can explore ourselves in our own inner universe first.

Once I have spent some constructive time dreaming about the concept, I generate three directions to make things more concrete. The first direction genuinely validates the original baseline direction of the original concept. The second direction is an alternative direction. It could be a more minimal approach, a different sequence in the storytelling, or a different symbolic connection to an element. The third direction is the most elaborate and pushes the concept to its maximum potential or beyond.

At this point all three directions are put on the table for all to see. It is like playing a deck of cards and deciding deliberately which hand works for all involved, including assets and budget, etc. Pieces of each can be taken and can potentially create a fourth direction. Once the direction is decided, the Intent for the Concept is clear and action can be taken to bring the creative intent and the technical challenges together and see them come to life.

When we have taken this time to have clarity about the intent and have a clear path for the technical requirements, we can know and enjoy the creative process, the synchronicity involved, and happy discoveries that add character and depth of detail and experience. Of course there is much mastery involved in the technical craft, however this is always the beginning stage of my creative endeavors where the possibilities are revealed and the expression that stands out starts to explode!

“Form follows feeling, Feeling creates evolution!”

Michael Vallese

Michael Vallese is an American Architect and Entrepreneur based in Washington D.C. specializing in signature projects with a sensitivity towards culture and the environment. He is passionate about design of all forms and has also written and illustrated a few children’s books, conceptual movie scripts, and recently, “ The Essentials for Fine Living”. After living in the world famous, “Casa Malaparte”, on the island of Capri for a summer, he has made it his mission to promote good design and harmony wherever possible. As an artist himself, he believes in the human spirit and the highly collaborative efforts that elevate all form of Art and Design.

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