The Flow Channel as Art—and Life
Updated: Dec 5, 2019
by Chavi Parks
When I think of flow, I envision a special kind of concentration. One that doesn’t allow distractions to enter your mind. The kind of focus that allows your actions to become second nature as what you experience distorts time and makes you shut out everything around you except what will help you meet your goal. That’s the kind of concentration I learned when I transitioned to a project-based learning school in my junior year of high school.
There, I had the kind of freedom that makes people want to do more. In my old school, I tried virtually everything from welding to graphic design, but there was nothing that I was passionate about except track and field and student council. I figured I would either be in the Olympics or politics. My new school forced me to figure out what I was really interested in. The school gave me the gift of knowing what it was like to create something. I learned that I loved creating things, coming up with crazy big ideas.
As I transitioned to college, I realized that I wanted to own my own business, and am considering many possibilities from the things I care about.
So to me, a beam of light seems to be the best imagery to represent the properties of flow. The lighthouse is a reflection of guidance, the kind I got at the new school, and I wanted to show this through the distinct difference in color between the light and the rest of the scenery. The light cuts through the sky just as being in a state of flow cuts through both anxiety and boredom.
To me, the most interesting piece of symbolism is the boat. There's something scary about stagnancy, which the boat represents by floating in the sea of boredom. There's little mental growth or progress after you reach the point of being more skilled than the challenge you face. The boat can be interpreted as an individual going through the mundane activities of life. It’s up to us to make them interesting.