About drsimmo

Dr Simone Hughes is a Clinical Psychologist and the Director of Creative Focus. She has a PHD in Clinical Psychology from Curtin University where she received a Chancellor’s Commendation for her thesis that explored the intergenerational family experience of chronic mental illness. She is the Director of Creative Focus and works in private practice in Perth, Western Australia. Simone has published works in the literary journals Westerly and Overland, and numerous travel articles that have appeared in the West Australian newspaper. She was the West Australian’s travel writing winner in 2009. Simone Hughes is currently undertaking a Doctor of Creative Arts at Curtin University (part-time) where she is writing her first novel.

17: Chance

Chance … A new set of circumstances, an opportunity.  Chance involves the unknown and unpredictable element in happenings that seem to have no assignable cause.

Isn’t it fascinating when you experience an artistic setback? There is a change in your expectations and after the initial reaction and disappointment you can take a step back only to discover the chance for some new understanding…

You can gain strength, courage and confidence by chance experiences even if things do not necessarily go according to plan.

I’ve always loved the idea of serendipity: chance connections and out of the blue encounters that give life a sense of wonder and unexpected meaning. Chance is the opportunity to value-add to the creative process. As an artist, if you connect with the process of serendipity, you invite new reflections into your journey.

Creatively, it is possible to give structure to promote serendipity and chance encounters either by exposing yourself to more opportunities – increasing your openness to experience, or by keeping a record of those experiences and inviting reflection back upon them. A visual diary, for example, promotes opportunities for chance encounters. By keeping a record of the machinations of your mind, by charting through the chaos of experience, you not only inspire yourself, you create a history of your journey. You raise the bar.  You participate more fully.  You invite process.

How do you use a visual diary – haphazardly or with more concentrated effort? We would love to hear from the artists about how ‘chance’ factors into your artistic challenges either for the 303030 or from your love and discovery of art more generally …

I embrace emerging experience, I participate in discovery. I am a butterfly. I am not a butterfly collector. I want the experience of the butterfly.

 – William Stafford.