Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Costs of Creativity - Artists, Selfish or Genius?

My friend, Joyce Mason (The Radical Virgo & Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights) sent me this link to a video about the issues of creativity, the costs of being creative, nurturing creativity from Elizabeth Gilbert that I found extremely interesting.

If you are a creative person I think you will find this video interesting too, especially the points she makes about being a creative type in today's world versus being a creative type in past history - very, very interesting statements on this video.

I also read several of the comments on the video - a few made statements like "self-absorbed". I believe that to be a truly creative individual we must be somewhat self-absorbed and, yes, even selfish. Is this bad? I don't think so - I think we must honor ourselves if we wish to honor and help others, but maybe that's just an easy excuse for selfishness.

So, what do you think about this video and the points made in it and in the comments?

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Joyce Mason said...

Hi, Pop Art—

Since I led you to Liz, I’m happy to be the first to comment. As a writer and creative/sensitive type, I have suffered much of my life with the angst of the “artiste.” I dealt with it a lot in my poetry during my twenties.Intense and pithy stuff, fairly widely published--mostly about my pain!

Thankfully, with maturation, I have learned to be a much more relaxed channel of creativity. This video really spoke to me. I am clear that I tap into the universal mind and larger creative forces of which we’re all a part.

How I know material comes through me is how I experience it when I read it after time has elapsed. I’ll find myself asking, “Where did I get that? How did I know that? Wow!” It’s as if I never wrote it or had little to do with it, other than to be its surrogate mother. Of course, it has my DNA—my Joyceness. To write well requires a really open mind, to channel inspiration but not force it but to work with it.

Many things in this video rocked my world. One of the biggest pieces was the idea that I just need to show up, and I don’t need to keep setting higher bars and expectations. With creativity, getting there is most of the fun. It’s being in that flow of creative fire, however I can be its vessel. I loved her stories of how the woman felt it as a very personal energy she had to “catch.” The clip left me with much to think about—and be grateful for—that I long allowed myself to be so aMused.

Pop Art Diva! said...

Joyce - wow, you wrote a longer comment than I wrote a post, lol!

Yes, with age I too have realized that you have to welcome your Muse with serenity. You cannot force her to come nor can you control her time clock!

I've often gotten my best ideas at the most inconvenient times - sitting in traffic, while I was sleeping, etcetera. So I have learned to always have a pad/pencil or the 21st century equivalent of a sticky pad, voice recorder or cell phone at hand to record the ideas.

I rarely question where the ideas come from - though sometimes I am amazed at how they get there, lol.

I now let myself be open to idea seeds germinating then growing into full blossoms as the project commences - I speak to this in a post on my other art blog, Life is Like Art in The Ultimate Art Question: Where do you get your ideas?.

I found the video thought provoking as well and thank you for your insightful comment!

Debbie said...

Hello to my creative-sisters,

I just loved the points shared in this video, and feel comfortable enough in my OWN creative-skin, to continue onwards regardless of 'status' books were written for many reasons, never for financial profit, the personal rewards are much more important to me!

Being creative should never become a 'noose' around your neck, it is born within us,it's what defines us! Embrace it, love it, nurture and feed it.... and however we choose to use should remain our choice, not that of the citic!

I will always be writing something for someone or somewhere....where this leads is all just part of the creative journey :)


Pop Art Diva! said...

Debbie - I agree! Our creativity should always be a source of joy and fulfillment for us.

Though sometimes the process of bringing our creative products to life can be trying and frustrating, the creative source, the "Muse", is nothing but positive.

Though I occasionally struggle through the process of bringing my art/writings to life the end results are always more than worth the angst I can sometimes suffer when I'm experiencing a few road bumps on my creative journeys!

Though I funnel much of my creativity into my professional projects, I too would continue to be creative even if it wasn't the foundation of my work/income. My creativity a large part of who I am and it is almost as elemental to me as breathing!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and watch the video, then make such an insightful comment! Please continue to visit and share!

Gidget said...

Elizabeth Gilbert absolutely nailed it and I for one, am grateful for the honest attempt at saving creative minds! Thank you for sharing.

Pop Art Diva! said...

Gidget - I thought it was a most interesting take on creativity and I'm happy you enjoyed it.

I actually expected it to spark a little controversy but evidently she hit the nail on the head for the creative people who read this blog,lol.

Thanks for stopping by.