Monday, January 27, 2014

On Creativity

Pondering the imponderable.
From this article on the literature of creativity:

Innovation, that is, exists only when the correctly credentialed hivemind agrees that it does. And “without such a response,” the author continues, “van Gogh would have remained what he was, a disturbed man who painted strange canvases.” What determines “creativity,” in other words, is the very faction it’s supposedly rebelling against: established expertise.
 A fascinating dissection of things that essentially try to answer the burning question: Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

The best answer I've seen to that one (I mean, besides the really terrific one that Wyllis Cooper presented in the Quiet, Please episode titled "Where Do You Get Your Ideas?") came from Phillip Pullman via Austin Kleon:

When I’m reading, I’m looking for something to steal. Readers ask me all the time the traditional question ‘Where do you get your ideas from?” I reply: ‘We are all having ideas all the time. But I’m on the lookout for them. You’re not.’
And yeah, that's true of me, too. I'm looking for those connections. Sometimes they make sense, sometimes they don't.  Sometimes I can translate them out to the world and sometimes I can't. The point is that I try. Well, not so much try as do and sometimes win and sometimes fail.

That's creativity. I can't be afraid to fail, I have to put stuff out and hope that it reaches someone, anyone, and that then I hear back that it's reached that person.

So the answer is to look for a connection and then make a connection with a like mind. The biggest hurdle to creativity is the Internet Hivemind. It's so much easier to go along with what everyone else is doing, saying, thinking, reposting, that to be outside that Hivemind is rather daunting. That's why we get so many versions of the same thing including reality TV shows, comics, books, films, etc…

Maybe the real answer is to eschew the Hivemind, walk to the beat of your own drummer and then respect everyone who does that. To not be afraid to walk to that beat and trust that while someone else is walking they'll cross your path and you'll be inspired to do something else, something more. Right?

So share what's on your mind but be open to what everyone else is doing. That's where ideas come from, where creativity comes from. Maybe.

It's at least worth thinking about.