What is creativity?
Is it someone else’s interpretation of your final product?
Is it a sketch, drawing, photograph, sculpture?
Is it a poem, a piece of music or a strum of chords?
I was recently given a photographic brief to be “creative”. That was it! I found this harder than being told specifics. It gave me complete free reign to create a wonderful piece of photographic work. However, the ultimate goal of the person who asked me to be creative was to sell a property….
This left me with a dilemma.
Do I go all out and start taking photographs of the perfectly symmetrical corners of the room and the interesting contrast of light and dark shadows which will mean absolutely nothing to someone looking to see if the property has two bedrooms or three? Or do I tone down my interpretation of creativity to a suitable level which still represents what the buyer would want to see but then it isn’t all out creative as I have the potential to be. When I asked, I was told to go “all out”!?
The confusion comes because the term “creative” is unique to the individual. Someone may feel that they have been creative when painting a wall a different colour in their house, another when they completely redesign and landscape the garden.
I recall at art college being constantly baffled by the pure spectrum of creativity! Just tell me what to photograph or draw or paint…..
When I was creative in my own way, it didn’t seem to appeal to the lecturers. It didn’t achieve the higher grades so I was stuck….do I tone down my interpretation of creativity and do something which I know will get me a first so I can go on and be successful in society or do I stuff all of it and do my own little weird Sam thing in the corner of the room and hope for the best?
Being the rebel I am I did my own thing and didn’t come out too badly.
The problem with actually being creative for me has been everyone else’s opinion of my creations! We are in an approval driven society. We seek to improve, to be the best, to stand out but blend in and it is exhausting!
So in order to escape the constrains of being creatively controlled this weekend I went to Cottlesloe Beaches Sculpture by the Sea exhibition. It was interesting the large crowds creativity drew! As well as the number of photographers….you know, documentary photographers….stand by the sculpture, take a photo, move on!
What about watching the way the light captures it…..or the fact there are rainbows on the ground by your feet? Whatever happened to looking up? Or down? Or simply sitting and watching? I wish I could have captured photographs of people’s faces when I walked up to the sculpture and held my camera so it was looking up the length of the sculpture! I mean someone being creative at an art exhibition, what’s that all about?
I seem to have gone into a rant in this post. As a creative person I have always felt constantly frustrated at societies constrains so this is something very personal to me.
What is creativity to you? How do you express it?