INFJ Creativity and I

I’m a big fan of the MBTI, as self-understanding has always felt hard-fought for a weirdo like me.

Most Recent Test -

After a lot of mistyping and thorough research, I finally realized that I was INFJ (a both harrowing and wonderful revelation). Arguably the rarest male type:

So abstract that most children on the playground used to just stare at my mouth when I was trying to make sense; horrendous and wonderful empathy so absorbent of other people’s emotions that I have trouble finding my own; still quite capable of abstract logic, but my own logic; and still in daft need to do something with this big head/heart-lifeworld my personality creates, thus the endless, endless creations.

Digging deeper into the theories, I liked when I saw the personalities broken even further down into introverted and extraverted versions of the different preferences (i.e., Introverted Feeling vs. Extraverted Feeling), and once I used the MBTI to help heal myself up from horrible times, I came to realize its potential for aiding my creativity.

INFJ Intution

So INFJs have:

-Introverted Intuition-

-Extraverted Feeling-

-Introverted Thinking-

-Extraverted Sensing-

I don’t see a lot of literature on how creativity manifests through function order, though. The general explanation of these more precise functions isn’t hard to find (here’s a nice general one and this one hits on them for INFJ), but I’ve never seen them in specific context of how I view creativity:


INFJ Functions and My Creativity

(least, you know, as I understand it)

Introverted Intution

I’m a reader, and I mean in the sense of life, and not even in the conscious sense. I don’t have to read between the lines, I just fall right through them with every step I take. Everything I absorb is weighted with meaning. It’s dense and symbolic, and creates a strong mind’s-eye. There isn’t a point in my day where there aren’t images floating around in my head that are symbolic composites of just stuff I’ve absorbed. I used to feel tortured by it at times, but this floating galaxy of stuff in my head is who I am. Taken ideally for art, I’m basically a reserve of potential creativity.

Extraverted Feeling

Wipe me across the floor of human emotion and I’ll just suck up everything. Sure, feeling the feelings of the person you’re talking to is great for relating, compassion, and understanding, but it can also be viewed as an info bank in a way, how the world of emotion works. Coupled with my intuition, I’ve naturally been picking up on emotional patterns my whole life, similarities–I’ll know when I’m seeing an emotion in someone that I’ve seen in another before. Over time this has given me the ability to have a strong idea of how people will react to something even if it doesn’t “exist yet” (the point where your umbrella is stolen in Cherry in the Sky, the death of a character in Ali So Far). It lets me create evocative prose and experiences that can pull on universal emotional heartstrings (least I hope I’m doing that), and as exhausting as it is sometimes, it’s imperative that I continue to collect the emotions of the world to ever improve my abilities.

Cherry in the Sky is a really feely, feely game.

Introverted Thinking

This is where my internal logic lies, where I categorize the symbols and emotions, and organize the world to my understanding. I’m not so much a system builder like a thinking type, more of a world builder. My intuition just brings the symbols into my head haphazardly, but this function allows me to take active command of where abstract is placed and organized. It is where my sense of artistry lies. “This will go here and this will go here to reflect the meaning and produce the emotion my first two functions informed me of”. This is my eternal student function, and it is what will leave me an artist for life. Lately, I’m realizing my mathematical ability lies here as well, but I haven’t come into full understanding of it yet. Continuing to write code should bring that to light. There’s some link there that eludes me.

Extraverted Sensing

We’re getting down to point where I feel baffled and unclear on functions due to them being less developed, but I do have a child’s aesthetic sensibilities. To me, it’s just a feeling at the front of my head. I put down some colors in one of my games (colors symbolically selected of course), but then I have to play around with the appearance until this feeling in my head moves from “ew” to “ahhh”. This is also where my drive to move these head worlds into reality lies, often in an out of control manner–I overdo, exhaust, and sometimes hurt myself by just making too much and doing too much. I’ve got to grow to temper this blade like all my others. It will make me an even better creator in the end.

3rd Grade Flowers
I made this in Elementary School. My sensibilities actually haven’t changed all that much.

I’m sure all INFJ don’t experience this the exact same way, but I’m sure it’s closer to my experience than that of the other types. Hopefully this aids some other creative–my two cents in the MBTI pool. Maybe I’ll get into my enneagram someday (4w5), but it’s pretty basic at the end: at my greatest I make art, and at my worse, I seriously just want off this planet. But I’ve got too much to accomplish to do anything but make neat stuff until I can’t anymore, and I’m rather looking forward to seeing this intense INFJ art-guy thing out to the end, whatever may come.

Baddie Parade in the Sky

I’m really just sharing this because I’m proud:

Pi Composite

A very large part of me (my brain, my heart?) was convinced that I would never be able to 3D model a dragon, but here he is after less than a year of learning, tie, monocle and everything. Feels great.

I’m pretty proud of my other dragon too, but there’s still some work left to do on him:sports-composite1


3D modeling is just playing with shapes. Sure, it can get quite sophisticated, but I’ve managed to stay well within my abilities.

My botanical knowledge of flying flowers, and the giant angry lava flowers from the same family, has assisted me greatly with Flo and Mega Flo:

Flo ConceptsFlo Concepts - 3D

And that natural love for similar/palette swap enemies (from older, more memory limited games) has been great for reducing the workload for a lone developer:

Gorbos Composite 2

Plus it just helps that I like silly things. Silly things are easy to draw and easy to model:

Gupper & Guppi 2

…and easy for me to come up with. Left un-managed, my brain makes cuddly angel/devil ghosts anyway:

Halo Grimmy & Grim Grimmy

Hopefully I’ll have your heart by next year. Progress is sailing along quite well. The heroine of Cherry in the Sky, Cherry Sundae, and her little sister Chime are definitely eager:

Chime and Cherry Look - Final

The Visual Question

I draw like a five-year-old with a decent grasp of color and composition. That grasp is led by unrefined feelings delight and disgust at whatever comes out on the paper. Though, that’s mostly because I haven’t picked up a pencil to do anything but write for last twenty years of my life.

Engagement? Conflict? Good Baddies?
And the magic of 3D modeling helps disguise my infantile hand…

Though, things are kind of nice in that way. I think that’s a large part of the appeal that has me so obsessed with working on Cherry in the Sky. Making your own game seems like the fullest expression I could possibly imagine, pooling all strengths and weakness into one place.

It’s brought me to think a lot about sensory appeal lately.

I exist in a very analytical, very symbolic, very meaning-rich head space that can be a task to put into words. Though, I’m beginning to realize that visual appeal can be difficult to verbalize as well. The “deep” can be shallow if you spend all your time at the bottom, never coming up for air; it’s a deprived position if you can’t rise up to appreciate simple beauty. Contrast is needed.


Above, a decent iPhone picture during my most recent day at the beach. Where, sure, I spent plenty of time in my head, plenty of time hashing out Cherry in the Sky on draft paper, plenty of time appreciating the yarn-like texture in the sullied water of the California coast, the confused off-white of the clouds escaping the smog out to sea, the sun that couldn’t quite burn an evening glow through the thick presence of Los Angeles–

The simple experience spurned a great deal of thought… but it also touched the senses very gently, leaving a sort of physical glow in my mind. A sensory massage that English doesn’t seem to have direct, sufficient nouns for, thus florid language. It feels so roundabout sometimes.

Games might be a better place to bridge that perceived gap between raw sensory appeal and deep, non-verbal experience.

Something visually stimulating but rich in feeling. The abstraction in the concrete; the concrete in the abstract.

That bridge might, very literally, be the gap where you can convert a non-player into a player.

The first page of your novel is supposed to be your hook, right? I mean, typically, you pick up a book and somebody dies on the first page, or the opening line of dialogue is a swear to try to imbue a sense of gravity into the initial experience–the masters are capable of opening up with something far more gentle and subtle than that–What’s the equivalent for a game?

The first level?

Maybe so for a player, but that’s once the controller is already in their hands.

Incredibly incomplete, flawed, but visually curious?
Cherry in the Sky, incomplete, flawed, but visually curious already?

At a glance, your game needs to spur curiosity, maybe–inviting curiosity that would bring someone to watch, that would intrigue them to discover more. To create questions that can only be answered by playing it. For a medium with such potential for raw sensory appeal, there’s plenty of room to “show” this without trying to “tell” people why your game’s awesome.

My art’s still rough, I’m still in a phase of heavy design, really neglecting the visuals, and I’ll probably get a little help with it later on, but when people do see it, I’m actually managing to get that curious response… it’s pretty fantastic.

The raw, sensory, second-hand experience, it brings out a question. Maybe that question is, “what does this feel like?” The only answer to that question, is to play–and hopefully, if everything is done just right, there’s a connection that’ll be made, and you can pull people into something deep.

Shoot for the senses to provoke curiosity? Is curiosity the way to the heart?

I have no idea.