Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Creativity, the talent myth and craft

Right, well. This has often been a topic of conversation with my friends, especially those that do art or music, and I've often thought about it myself during those fantastical shower thinking sessions where you don't realise quite how long you've been standing under the shower only to come up with amazing theories on life and the universe that get forgotten the moment your foot touches the mat when you get out.

Creativity, What is it? Personally i think creativity is all about thinking, ideas and idea generation. Thinking outside of the box, breaking boundaries. Some people might think it is limited to writers artists or musicians but i would have to disagree. I believe that creativity stems into everything and is a fundamental part of life and moving forward. Scientists are a prime example of creative people that don't do arts. Imagine, if you can, a world before the knowledge of gravity. Then one day a person gets hit on the head by a falling apple and is able, from that one little moment of thought provoking action, theorise gravity and start the laws of physics. All people are creative in different ways. We don't all have the same thoughts, ideas or even thinking patterns, some people think laterally others find it extremely difficult. Having a look on Dictionary.com they seem to have a similar definition of creativity; "The ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination".

Sir Isaac Newton, creative genius

Now talent is a different kettle of fish. I think that talent is naturally having assets that are key components to being good at something, through both nature and nurtured pathways. For example being a good fighter pilot requires good reaction times, good eyesight and knowledge of how a plane functions. someone might be a naturally "talented" pilot if their reaction times and eyesight are amazing due to good genetics but i don't think it ends here. If a person if particularly interested in something from a young age they will often be perceived as "talented", so in this situation having such a interest in planes that this pilot has read all about planes for the majority of their young life they would be able to learn how to drive that plane quicker than others simply due to the fact that they're so interested in the subject of flying that they practically know how to fly a plane before being shown. I do hope this actually legible, its a rant I've been wanting to do for a while.
Consulting Dictionary.com again, talent in their eyes is "a special natural ability or aptitude".  What a load of bullshit. So people are born with innate ability to be to amazing at rocket science? No. I believe people are given assets that make that more reachable, they aren't just given special powers when you're born.  If you were to put two people up against each other, both trying to become a pro golfer. One is able to become pro in 5 years of playing, the other isn't able to reach pro ever. The one that would be considered talented is almost definitely the one with genetic coding that is preferable to being a good golfer, better hand eye co-ordination and faster muscle memory, things of that nature. Although the other might never become pro i am sure that he'll definitely get much better at golf, even if at a much slower pace than the other golfer. 

I need to think about this for a bit.....

Maybe the natural preferences heighten the highest limit of a person, rather than restrict the one with less preferable assets. So the non-talented golfer, although a good golfer, was unable to ever get better past a certain point. So here i am thinking that maybe people were limitless, i guess that's where my hypothesis crumbles because everyone has limits. ah, i think I'm getting depressed at this point, i don't like that fact i might have a limit to anything. That i might get good at drawing to a point and then never be able to better myself no matter how much time i put into it. 

The most important thing however is no matter how talented you are or how creative you might be. You have to spend time on you craft to change yourself from being just talented to being genuinely skillful at the practice you're doing. This is why I'm on this course, to spend time on my craft so one day I'll be awesomely skillful and get into a dream job.

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