Thursday, March 25, 2010

Creativity: what drives it?

When you are facing a blank canvas and the brush in hand or your mind is ready to take it on ... what is it that drives you?  How do you find your inspirations?  What drives that artist to the passionate paintings you create?  For me, it is a movie with special lighting, the way a person stands in the sunlight, watching someone in their zone, and many other events.  There are so many things that come to play in that part of the artist that really trigger that feeling of wanting to recreate.  It could be music, watching someone sing, a costume or clothing style, the lines in someone's face when they smile ... there are so many things that move me to paint.  When I paint, I feel the movement, the colors, the sence of light, and so much more.  I think my students are far wiser and stronger as a group than I have ever had.  It's a great feeling to know that these stong minds are so hungry to learn more.  I love seeing them passionate and moved by their own paintings.  Likewise, when they are not moved by their artwork and they say negetive things about themselves and their abilities, it is hard to listen.  I feel like I try so hard to get them to change thier minds to understand they are capable (or I wouldn't be saying so) that sometimes they don't believe me either.  I think the hardest part of being a teacher is watching a talented person not understand their talent even when I can see thier talent.  Talent is work.  It isn't a gift that just appears.  It begins with believing that you CAN do it and ends with seeing it and having pride in what you create a step at a time ... a day at a time.  It's the pure insight that you see in every step that comes to you.  I just try to open that door for all those I teach. 

1 comment:

  1. Good question! Talent, to me, is a nice word that just defines hard work towards a goal that you have an ability to do. Before talent comes an ability or aptitude to do something. A mathematician can figure numbers well, that part of his brain is well focused and capable, but they start out with just an ability to add. An engineer seems to understand a larger picture of how things fit together and they start out with a brain that is apt to understand such things as Lego’s and Lincoln Logs. We often call this ‘talent’ in children. But I have met a lot of people with the ability to do something who never takes it to a level as an adult that constitute real talent, in my opinion. Real talent is taking an ability and adding very determined and dedicated years of study to make it talent. I have met many students in my life time and those who had the ability to draw and didn’t have the drive to take it to another level, are really disappointing to teach. On the other hand, I have taught someone who has the drive, ambition, and ability to see values, shapes, but has not learned to draw yet. This second type of student is far more satisfying than someone who doesn’t appreciate what skills they posses. Hence, the statement that “you are only as good as the miles of canvas you cover.”
    Another note: All artists see their finished work with eyes that know critically what they did wrong - no matter what level they have achieved! We are: our own worst critics, as well as our own best friends. The reason is that this level of drive and desire to be good at what we do is what drives us to continually take our work to the next level. It’s a yin and yang of any talented person. Some students never get past this Yin & Yang, to allow themselves to fail, so that they learn. That is what makes my heart ache the most. I see people who are extremely ‘talented’ and yet their self critique is so harsh that the balance doesn’t happen. That missing balance and acceptance doesn’t allow them to grow and accept the accomplishments which are achieved ‘covering their miles of canvas’.