Thursday, May 18, 2006

Are you Creative?

I have just finished reading Laura Young's series on creativity, starting here. I especially liked part 5: Be willing to stand naked before yourself. Without prejudice. where she quotes Clive Barker:
It's a question of sitting quietly with yourself and saying, the only company I have in all the world is the person I am. And everything else can go away from me, everybody else can go away from me. It is within the bounds of possibility that all the people I love most in the world could be gone tomorrow. I have to be at peace with this myself. And a third of this "myself" is a sleeping self. An important third, perhaps the most important third. So, let me be quiet with myself and sit with myself and like myself, and what my subconscious is telling me.

I also enjoyed what she had to say in part 10 about criticism, and the difference between creative voice or impulse and the technique which enables us to express that voice. We can continually work on and improve our technique, but that in itself is a means to an end, and we shouldn't take criticism of our technique as criticism of us as artists:
Comparing your technical expertise to the student next to you in art class, or to your best friend, or Picasso simply compares tool kit to tool kit.