CARLOS RUIZ BRUSSAIN
Artist / Lecturer / Ph.D. Candidate, University of Northampton
Within the Hyperdream Magic Circle: Manifesting the unconscious through illustration play and games
Carlos Ruiz Brussain is an artist and a lecturer. His practice is in the fields of drawing, illustration, concept art and painting. He lectures in illustration, creative methodologies and creative techniques at ERAM Escola Universitaria-University of Girona (Spain). He holds a Master’s degree in Design from the University of Lincoln (UK) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Art Therapy from the University of Girona. He is a member of the Drawing Research Network; the Archive for Research in Archetypal Symbolism; the Teaching Innovation Network: Play and Learning (University of Girona); and the research group Play and New Technologies Applied to Teaching Innovation (University of Girona).
During the last decades a number of academic studies explored the relationships between play and creativity (Winnicott, 1971; Csikszentmihalyi, 1975; Landau, 1984; Martin and Bateson, 2013).
Still, the link between play, creativity and magic; the thought processes involved; and, the creative rituals that predispose artists for their “shamanic journeys” has been almost neglected. Beyond the isolated cases of A. O. Spare, X. Solar, and J. Pollock, Dadaists and Surrealists were the most important antecedent in the conjoint practice of the three disciplines but, even there is some literature on their ludic activities (Brotchie & Gooding, 1995; Laxton, 2003; Dickerman, 2005; Malone et al., 2009), and some that analyses the link between both avant-gardes and magic (Balakian, 1971; Choucha, 1992; Warlick, 2001; Moffitt, 2003; Rabinovitch, 2003; Lepetit, 2012; Bauduin, 2012), formal investigation about the relationship between games, magic and art is scarce. Additionally, fantasy thinking and rituals cannot be separated from ludic nor magic activity, but within the arts they have not been studied with the attention they deserve.
My practice-led research analyses the development of a play-based creative framework for visionary and fantastic illustration practice. It is inspired by the world of dreams, reverie states, and fantasies and explores how fantasy thinking might be increased by the use of active imagination and play dynamics for their value as motivators for creativity. It encompasses different ludic approaches, techniques, and tools designed to provoke motivation through randomness and unexpectedness, which allows the emergence of raw archetypal and symbolic material.
I have been using Surrealist games, the theory of flow introduced by Csikszentmihalyi, and depth psychology as key references.
In conclusion, I argue that the thought processes involved in the creation of visionary and fantastic illustration should be related to fantasy thinking, which can be provoked by playful activities practiced as magical rituals.