Creativity: 23 days to Commencement

When we want it, it doesn’t come, and we can try to nurture it, but it always lurks in the background. Creativity is an elusive skill, if it can even be called such, and despite countless books and lectures on how to have more imagination, we fail. For when we try too hard to be creative, we aren’t.

What is it about some painting, drawing, movie, book, poem or photograph that makes it art? What is art? Something that gives a thrill — of joy or horror? If creativity is a talent, then why are so many gifted people unable to make us stop and think with their efforts at art?

Creativity means breaking out of the world as it is and showing society something new. The spark that makes a movie a classic, the inspiration that attracts a fan base and the simple act of being new does not fit any formula. Marketing directors might sift through images, writers might flip through pages and everyone might just take a walk to find that item to jolt a dead idea into existence.

There is a difference between a thinker and a writer, and only under intense oppression does the soul cry out.

“Successful artistic parents seem very rarely to give birth to equally successful artistic sons and daughters, and I suspect it may be because the urge to create, which must always be partly the need to escape everyday reality, is better fostered–despite modern educational theory–not by sympathetic and ‘creative’ childhood environment, but the very opposite, by pruning and confining natural instinct.”
– John Fowles, The Tree

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