We Are All Artists

I’m really falling behind in class, and have nobody to blame for that but myself. This was supposed to be up a couple of days ago; still, better late than never.So here’s my response to Tim Owen’s discussion.

The discussion began with the idea that creativity is not an inherited trait, but something anyone can achieve with practice, and in the right environment. Maybe I’m just a contrarian (I am), but I somewhat disagree with this. Tim Owens uses the argument that creative parents often have creative children as evidence that a creative environment fosters creativity, but I think it’s a good demonstration of what he’s trying to argue against – that creativity IS, to some extent, genetic. That’s a minor issue, though: just because some people will always be better athletes than others doesn’t mean that anyone can’t be fairly good with lots of practice. The same is true with creativity. And anyways, I don’t have any doubts about my ability to be creative, so the idea of using genetics as an excuse doesn’t really apply to me.

Again being a contrarian, I couldn’t fully agree with the idea that being uncomfortable makes one more creative. This goes against personal experience: when I’m uncomfortable, my whole attention wants to be devoted to removing the source of this discomfort, meaning less attention paid to whatever the task at hand is. But this is a really minor issue, because I can see his main point: that being creative makes one uncomfortable. This is especially true thanks to the perfectionist instinct that is brought up later in the discussion, and that runs very strong within me. I’m always terrified to submit something that isn’t the absolute best it can possibly be. That’s a strong reason I’m not so great about meeting deadlines; it’s something I have to put aside and get over, especially in this class.

The remainder of the talk I don’t have as much to say about, but I really liked it nonetheless. Much of it basically followed a simple pattern: “take X, make it Y”. This fits neatly with the “Everything is a Remix” video that I’ll post about later. Both discussions demonstrate that the essence of creativity is taking and old idea (or a collection of old ideas) and putting your own, unique spin on it.

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