Getting to the Core of Creativity (Part 1)

There are many theories about how to “open up” creativity. Many assume a sort of boundless freedom and experimentation will lead to the “truest” sort of creative expression. In this view unfettered freedom from constraint is key.

Another view or perspective of how to employ creativity has more to do with discipline and living within creative constraints. It means having a definitive end in mind (“I want to say...”), and sticking with that goal throughout.

A third view is a hybrid of the two: it assumes the creative part (or the genesis) of creativity requires a sense of boundlessness whereas the editing stage needs great restraint and discipline (and often the council of “outside” perspective).

Someone once said the first draft with the heart, the second with the head. There is sort of a creative tension necessary between the two. And certain artists are better at one than the other. To make great lasting art both are completely necessary!

Inevitably at some point in the process we get to the critical juncture where we have to start defining the work. What is it? How will it/should it be marketed? Who will be interested in this project? Is this project ready for public release and consumption?

This stage and these sorts of questions can derail a great many artists. The thought of putting my art “in a box” is insulting, genuinely frustrating, and demeaning. is fun, self-discovering, and inspiring. The choice is ours.

Describing something is not necessarily prescribing it. That’s the key. We are not coercing or forcing the project down a certain path. It already went down a certain path. We are simply trying to understand what path it went down and why.

More than “why” even, we ask “who.” Who is this for? Who needs this particular thing right now? Of course we can not totally know these things, but we can use some basic systems to help us discover them. It’s important we ask these questions at right time.

Ultimately art is not necessary if it is not experienced by human beings. As obvious as it is that fact often gets missed. Music must be heard, art must be seen, books must be read. There is no other way for art to get into the human psyche than be experienced.

So then the latent power of art is only realized when shared. Of course there is the worthwhileness of the art for the artist outside of and in spite of its cultural celebration. There is an innate benefit to the artist that must be accounted for.

So the artist does run a risk taking art from private to public. What was internally satisfying and helpful in the completion of a piece for personal benefit and gain may be lost in an attempt to take that same piece into the public realm.

This is a huge decision, and essential to the question of art’s purpose. Can there be necessarily good art that is never experienced by others? Yes. Can art fulfill its destiny (as a unique creation) without being experienced by others? No!