We work in a creative medium -- screenwriters, directors, cinematographers, editors, etc. -- we're all taking material that exists in one form and metamorphosing it into another. But oftentimes that process is rather oblique; we spend so much time looking for the key, the path, the secret to whatever it is we may be looking for in creativity, be it success, prolificacy, or originality, but in the end it's all a bunch of shadow chasing. So, what do we do when we're at a creative standstill? This video series entitled On Creativity explores what it means to be creative through interviews with professional artists who have created some of the most iconic pieces of art in the world.
The concept of creativity is one of my favorite topics of study mostly because the general understanding of it is pretty spotted and lacking (and sometimes just flat out wrong scientifically). What is creativity? What makes people creative? Does intelligence play a role in it? How can you "get better" at it? Well, theories abound when it comes to the science of creativity, but one of my favorite ideas surrounding it is the notion that creativity isn't something people are born with or not born with -- a skill that you have and can execute -- but rather a muscle that can be exercised and made stronger.
That's actually one of the concepts the artists from On Creativity talked about the most -- hard work. It's easy to envision the lives of artists as this whirlwind of flying paint, weird furniture, amazing hair (David Lynch), severe depression, and inspiration that just explodes every time we see a bird fly across the sky (many times that's the idea we have in our heads when we're young dabblers in the art world). But, it's not like that 99% of the time. As you'll hear from the video below, creating art is more about tenacity and discipline than genius and inspiration.
So, if you're a struggling artist -- maybe you haven't created anything (good) in a while, maybe you're feeling like your artistic process is stilted, maybe you feel like you're simply not "good enough" to be an artist (I hear this one all the time), then I highly recommend that you watch the video below:
If you enjoyed On Creativity, you should definitely go here to check out extended versions of each interview to get more insight into what it means to be an artist. This one featuring graphic designer Milton Glaser, who created the iconic "I ♥ NY" logo, is of my favorites, because essentially everything he says is perfection.
What's your approach to creativity? What are some things you do to get through droughts in creativity?
Link: On Creativity