Creativity is something that is a frustrating issue, though I think that the general consciousness is shifting since books like Talent is Overrated and Steal Like an Artist among many, many others are becoming more numerous. The reason I bring up the book Talent is Overrated is that, like talent, creativity is a process. Not one creative thing comes from nothing. Everything is based on something that has come before it. Folk songs, painting styles, movies; especially movies nowadays. All these things are iterations built upon the foundation of other ideas.
This definitely isn’t a new idea, there being so many other articles and books written on the same and similar subjects. What I’m thinking of while writing this are the people in my own hometown in Western NC who, among other things, do not understand creativity. Many people I grew up with and, in fact, work with today seem to view creativity and those who practice anything creative as separate from the rest of society.
While talking with coworkers about doing artwork, writing and drawing, I often get comments such as, “I could never do that,” or, “I don’t understand how people create things like that.” I usually hold back a slight cringe when I hear these things. Usually I say something like, “Of course you can, just pick up a pencil and some paper,” which has been taken as a joke on many occasions.
There seems to be a lot of confusion, as well, between creativity and skill. What some see when they look at a finished painting or a novel is the final product, the details, which is definitely important, but something separate from creativity. Skill and creativity are different muscles. I’ve seen artwork that is very detailed, but boring, and artwork that isn’t well done, but very interesting.
There is little I expect this post to do, but maybe spread a modicum of awareness and potentially get someone to doodle a little. Self expression, in whatever form it takes, is an important process for people. That’s something I truly believe. It doesn’t need to be an epic painting. It could just be a silly drawing of your cubicle mate or boss or maybe yourself.