Creativity – Our Wish For You in 2014
Creativity is not a destination. Contrary to what many believe, it is also not something that you are just born with or that develops over the years in some magical, unseen, uninterrupted series of creative events. Creativity is not an elusive creature that stalks you in the night, waking you to run to your computer so you can jot down a few more notes before you loose them to the bad idea fairy living under every creative’s bed.
Creativity is actually a process. Sadly, not a process that is taught to every school child, though if I had my way it would be. If there were more creative thinking in the world there would be fewer problems, fewer wars, less hostility between neighbors, and more loving peace within creative families. Creativity solves problems. Ignoring or, worse yet, denying creativity creates them.
Creativity has always been an essential foundation for our cultural growth, but there are still many misconceptions about the elusive process. Creativity is not the left-brain/right-brain binary visualization bullshit that has been drilled into our heads from that first kindergarten coloring experience. Contrary again to what we’ve come to believe, being creative is considerably more complex, and requires a nuanced understanding of one’s self particularly, as well as others. The better we understand ourselves and others, the better prepared we become to express our individual creativity. Like an Olympic athlete training for the games, we each need to train that creative force within us. Like running to those Olympic runners, artists must create art. It is simply what they do; it is their nature. Also like the Olympic games, artists working creatively together push the ball ever further forward, setting new records of achievement.
So in practical terms, where do you start? First, you need to realize this is a process, not a destination. It is a way of living, a way of seeing life and a way of structuring not only your time, but your thinking as well. You start with the first fundamental building block. Nothing is wrong in art. You need to accept new ideas as they flow from within, however seemingly stupid or wrong. You need to bounce your ideas off of your friends, and learn to truly listen to theirs as well. You need to learn to take critique and give it, and the first step is to understand the difference between critique and criticism. Taking an idea, executing it with others, with peer review and honest critique is the most powerful form of learning. Good photographic workshops are an excellent place to start.
Run with your ideas. Do not simply dismiss them in your mind by thinking about them. Dare to create. Thinking is nothing more than trying to live life in your head; a fantasy land where you are constantly predicting or forecasting what will take place in reality. Execute on your ideas by taking positive physical action. Get out of that computer chair with camera in hand and go outside to create a photograph. Doing is the expression of creativity, after thoughts and ideas inspire it. Without the doing, it never really exists.
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