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Monsters of the Id

The movies of the last 50 years have certainly been entertaining, and some have even been great. The audience, your audience, is now the most visually spoiled and sophisticated audience of all time. The audience members are special-effects junkies with an increasingly higher threshold of acceptance. Now, as it becomes harder and harder to keep the beast happy, the devouring behemoth eats everything that we place before it—and asks for more. However, more is never enough, and in our quest to feed the monster, we have tasted the intoxicating draught that Mary Shelly warned of in her book Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus: "Unhappy man! Do you share my madness? Have you drunk also of the intoxicating draught? Hear me; let me reveal my tale, and you will dash the cup from your lips!"

As digital artists, we are confronted with an archetypal paradox: Both the disease killing our ability to form and hold mental imagery and the cure for the decline and death of the imagination stem from the same source—our minds. Just as the lessons of Frankenstein teach us of scientific restraint, it is certain that some images are better left to the power of the imagination. But perhaps we are too addicted to the explicit to take the risk to allow the implied to energize our tripartite brains. Or perhaps we fear that our work will be unpopular.

An understanding of how ideas are propagated might inspire us to the higher elevations of artistic endeavor.

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