As we continue to go through our journey through life, I realize that one of the important things to consider would be the numerous unknown factors in life. These are inevitable and we can never expect to know everything. It is easy to get trapped and paralyzed by the fear of the unknown, but it is something which we can overcome. Being okay with the unknown is the beginning of the other side of your journey where you leave your comfort zone, and find your way to a place you’ve never been.
This to me is at the center of improvisation. Yes you may have an initial intent, or preliminary idea of what is to come, but when you reach the moment of decision, you intuitively use your gut and your instinct in helping you navigate what is in front of you. When I try to make even the smallest pieces of art or illustrations, I almost always never have an idea of what is to come.
You can of course take this very idea to the end and come up with a final output using improvised lines and structures. This is done by many jazz greats who have refined their improvisation skills to the point that any note that comes out of their improvising is totally deliberate, and totally willed. But as a developing artist, it is worth while attempting to “free flow” and play and see where that brings you, and then refine it later on during “post production”.
This middle way is something that I find most suitable for me as I am still a student of deep improvisation (especially in music). I use it as the initial salvo of creativity, and I use whatever I have to build something new. Joe Pass, a legendary jazz guitar player always advised his students to create their own lines; as there are literally limitless amounts of lines that you can play. This is but a glimpse of the potential of an improvising mind.
Every day I try to find a way to practice and immerse myself in the improvisation process. Be it through guitar playing, songwriting, painting, drawing, or even writing. This way I hope to develop a high level of intuition and spontaneous creativity which I can always draw from as I continue to live my life.