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Creative wanting November 5, 2006

Posted by whatacharacter in 3D, Art, just my blogs, useful.

lacoonsm21.jpg – my last painting.

“Artistic Lacoon” 2005.

While my dear daughter’s AP Psychology book happened to be left on the table the other day, I availed myself to peruse it’s pages to see what was to be taught of the creative side of life. Some interesting considerations were brought to light, regarding what certain researchers identify as six components of creativity – not just artistic, but encompassing the multiple intelligences of the human potential. (Sternberg 1988, Sternberg & Lubart 1991,2)

1) – Intelligence – For a visual artist, I suppose this also means talent, to a certain degree, but widely applied to mean mental aptitude, critical thinking, and problem solving/solution finding.

2) – Expertise – “a well-developed base of knowledge.” This is primarily what I’ve always considered to be my inner library of experiences and images – something critical for an artist to have. At some point these elements seek life beyond my imagination and through dreams and inspirations allow me to see how they might appear to others.

To be a truly valuable asset for an artist I think this also applies to the skills one acquires, based on the fruitful application of one’s innate “talent.” This value never runs out: it grows over a lifetime, and develops the “voice” one earns to articulate his/her vision.

3) – Imaginative thinking skills – ability to produce fresh insight, and ideas both novel and valuable. Finding a way through the maze of patterns and connections by which one can form new patterns, or integrate to better define/make clearer existing ones.

4) – Venturesome personality – “tolerates ambiguity and risk, perseveres in overcoming obstacles … ” stays focused and resists running with the pack. Sounds like heroic qualities to me.

5) – Intrinsic motivation – The pleasure and challenge of the work itself, not influenced by external pressures.

I call this a healthy “artistic obsession,” and my primary shortfall. At times I wonder how I can consider myself to be an artist when this part doesn’t click and I ignore, deny, and supplant creative enterprises with other stoopid, or mundane time-stealing projects. Consider whether an artist is made from the value of one’s ideas, or the work one accomplishes.

This component matches other recent studies which show monetary or social gain is NOT a motivator in creative pursuits. Money, fame or any external derivative factor, beyond simply seeing one’s own dreams come to life, even thwarts the process – hence the “starving artist” notion, where pursuit of one’s passion sacrifices vital health.

I once thought of myself as free from such trivial affectations, but when trying to build a career of of it, it’s sorta’ inescapable. While I willfully push away such ideas, they’re always in the back of my mind, conflicted by that need for an audience I wrote of in last post. It’s an evaluation of survival, but ironically also thwarts my own artistic progress.

6) – A creative environment “sparks, supports, and refines creative ideas.” Another weak area for me, despite efforts occasionally related on these pages. It makes me wonder why social connections among artists of differing flavors is so hard to come by. Internet connections sometimes seem to help, but it’s a huge investment to seek out colleagues, I’m finding. Still hopeful to take part in the next pre-Raphaelite or Impressionist movement, I’m willing to see what happens tomorrow (part of the venturesome personality!)! Mystical 3D anybody?

Beyond these intrinsic things, an artist also needs the proper tools, space to work, and a decent business-sense, without which one is doomed. Thankfully I’m not yet doomed, just spinning my wheels it seems, looking for the right traction device to shove under my tires.



1. alistair - January 19, 2007

traction device? post more of your work online….get an agent……..do a show.

i am a guitarist and after 30 years have some of the elements in your list contained within my neurology. i realise that my stuff is “good” in that i can hold my own in performance, live and in session, but the thing is…do i want to devote everything to that for money?

i earn money already. i play already. where`s the traction?

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