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Lew Barrett
10-28-2013, 08:41 PM
Resulting from an exchange on the "Painful Violin Lessons" thread (not an exchange, just the spark of an idea, really) the question came up: what sparked the idea for a song? But as far as creativity and complex thought is concerned, there's no need to limit the discussion to music. (Although for those of without the gift, the creation of that particular divine math surely feels as impossible as walking to the moon).


Creative inspiration can come real in the form of a painting, a book, a musical masterpiece, a great piece of furniture, a new hull form, or even just a really good joke. But where and how does the spark of genius arise? Why would a falling apple cause one man to create a new set of physical laws, while for another, it simply raises a bump on the head?

What lies at the heart of creativity? Surely we build upon suggestions, glimpses of things remembered, triggers, the turning and practice of the mind, but the idea of a spark remains. Probably the easiest way I can express what I mean about being sparked is that moment we all hopefully have had when in the course of our conversations something struck us as funny and we were, in an instant, able to put that into words, yet the words came from somewhere indescribable remote from ourselves.

What is the essence of creativity, of the original, and great, idea? Might not the creative spark be the best glimpse we ever get into the most intimate, enduring and sublime forces at work in our lives?

TomF
10-28-2013, 08:55 PM
IMO, God.

Offputting as that is for folks who don't have a faith, my experience as a musician and performer is that when it's going really well, it has nothing to do with me. Except that something is expressed through what I do. It's up to me, of course, to develop the chops, the technique to refine and polish the thing ... but the spark isn't me at all. To the degree that if I do try to insert myself into it, the thing drys up.

And frankly, I think it's that way whoever is the creative vessel - whether or not they name it that way. God isn't so limited that God can only be expressed by those who name it that way. but most folks I've talked with about their own creativity also talk about something going through them, a "flow state" or etc. Which evaporates to the degree that they become self-conscious.

Keith Wilson
10-28-2013, 09:04 PM
Good question. Very good question.

There are many things going on in our minds without our knowledge. That said, I have no freakin' clue where ideas come from. One can prepare and learn and practice, but all that is necessary, not sufficient. When things fall together - at the very least, it's far from a conscious process.

Ron Williamson
10-28-2013, 09:09 PM
I need limits and pressure.
With neither,nothing gets done or it's crap.
R

Hwyl
10-28-2013, 09:14 PM
Whatever creative ideas I have happen either when I am completely zoned out (I wrote some good doggerel when I was a truck driver) or when I am thinking intensely, nothing in between.

Except if I get the germ of an idea while thinking intensely in a group setting, I can semi zone out to pad out the idea.

C. Ross
10-28-2013, 09:18 PM
I recently got to hear Sir Ken Robinson speak at a conference. He writes about creativity. This TED talk is the most watched ever - 19 million views - about how schools kill creativity (and what we can do about it)

This guy is a true genius.

http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

Duncan Gibbs
10-28-2013, 09:19 PM
Having a go at being creative and open to new ideas and ways of seeing, and then keep having a go constantly and consistently. The brain is then in a state to be able to respond to the triggers our World randomly presents us with. That and having a cultural climate that allows creativity to flourish. Not much good came out of Cromwell's puritan republic, whilst the restoration effectively marks the boundary of the medieval and modernity in Western history, and was a period of intense creativity in arts, sciences and just about everything in between.

If you really want THE treatise on the true nature of creativity read Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own. (http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/w/woolf/virginia/w91r/)

With that I'd better shut my computer down and disconnect it from everything as we have a huge storm coming!

Old Dryfoot
10-28-2013, 09:48 PM
http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

Wonderful!

Chip-skiff
10-28-2013, 10:40 PM
No idea. I wrote articles and books because I enjoyed writing. Also because I got paid for it.

Wrote a great many poems, but no one pays for those. But they're really fun.

More pleasure in it than pain. And one always waits, like a fox by a hole in the earth, to see what will pop out next.

Lew Barrett
10-28-2013, 10:54 PM
IMO, God........ the creative vessel....... a "flow state" or....... etc. Which evaporates to the degree that they become self-conscious.

We consider the question knowing that the source of The Spark is frequently felt as a mystery and that mystery might lead down a particular path for many, since it returns to the riddle of origin. I don't hold to anything remotely akin to the concept of God as Jesus, Yahweh, or Buddha but I do very much like the idea of Vessel. I think The Mystery of the conscious mind is as deep as that of the mystery of origin.

A lot could be explained as the workings of the unconscious and an unbridled mind. The idea of self might even come into play.

Cris: what a great Ted Talk! Lindy has a saying that goes something like this: "the better the school, the more the homework, and the more the homework, the worse the school." Not to be taken too literally, but hopefully you get the gist.

Lew Barrett
10-28-2013, 11:01 PM
No idea. I wrote articles and books because I enjoyed writing. Also because I got paid for it.

Wrote a great many poems, but no one pays for those. But they're really fun.

More pleasure in it than pain. And one always waits, like a fox by a hole in the earth, to see what will pop out next.

I've written for pay. For me, it takes time and concentration, but on the rare occasions when I thought I did well, the hard focus was always mixed with a degree of abandon. Throwing yourself open seems to improve the end product.

Nothing would ever happen if it weren't for deadlines. Writing takes discipline as well as that other stuff. It's an odd mix.

Gerarddm
10-28-2013, 11:29 PM
I have had a few creative Eureka! moments, but whether they were caused by having a prepared mind, a diety's intervention, or something else, I dunno.

Visual creativity I can grok; musical creativity blows me away. Lyrics are just poems, fine, no issues; but MUSIC, where does that come from? And how do some people keep on doing it over time?

C. Ross
10-28-2013, 11:37 PM
Cris: what a great Ted Talk! Lindy has a saying that goes something like this: "the better the school, the more the homework, and the more the homework, the worse the school." Not to be taken too literally, but hopefully you get the gist.

I completely get the gist. Oh yes indeed.

My younger daughter - you may remember her flights of fancy and clouds of words - is one of the most creative people I know. She has twelve interesting ideas a day - sometimes a baker's dozen! She consumes school like most people visit a salad bar. You don't like pickled beets? Don't eat 'em!

The problem is that school grades you on whether you have successfully cleaned your plate of every single ingredient at the salad bar. And when it comes to STEM, Miss Two is a picky eater. But arts and literature and history - anything with narrative! - she devours everything in sight.

She goes to a rigorous college prep school, but god bless 'em...they've figured her out and let her be her. One potentially crushed soul - nurtured. I am grateful for a school with time and space to meet kids where they are.

Lew Barrett
10-29-2013, 12:28 AM
She goes to a rigorous college prep school, but god bless 'em...they've figured her out and let her be her. One potentially crushed soul - nurtured. I am grateful for a school with time and space to meet kids where they are.

A good school then. Just lately there has been more focus (at the best places) on turning the screws back a thread or two, but generally they run the kids hard and put them away wet. Some kids thrive under that. Most don't.

Talents and gifts should be identified and catered to. My mother was a lefty. They worked hard to make her write with her right hand. Some good came of it; she could write with either, but really!(?) At least they don't do that any more.

oznabrag
10-29-2013, 12:35 AM
IMO, God.

Offputting as that is for folks who don't have a faith, my experience as a musician and performer is that when it's going really well, it has nothing to do with me. Except that something is expressed through what I do. It's up to me, of course, to develop the chops, the technique to refine and polish the thing ... but the spark isn't me at all. To the degree that if I do try to insert myself into it, the thing drys up.

And frankly, I think it's that way whoever is the creative vessel - whether or not they name it that way. God isn't so limited that God can only be expressed by those who name it that way. but most folks I've talked with about their own creativity also talk about something going through them, a "flow state" or etc. Which evaporates to the degree that they become self-conscious.

So. Are you what you make, or do you make what you are?

Third possibility: You are a conduit through which passes the Divine, who consumes you and pitches your bones on the dust heap when your usefulness has gone.

I'm sure there are other possibilities.

oznabrag
10-29-2013, 12:38 AM
A good school then. Just lately there has been more focus (at the best places) on turning the screws back a thread or two, but generally they run the kids hard and put them away wet. Some kids thrive under that. Most don't.

Talents and gifts should be identified and catered to. My mother was a lefty. They worked hard to make her write with her right hand. Some good came of it; she could write with either, but really!(?) At least they don't do that any more.

I'm thinkin' that for many years, there has been a focus on what will make money.

Not necessarily for the student, but for their future employer.

Ugly stuff.

This is how we have gotten to a place where 'economists' are valued above plumbers.

TomF
10-29-2013, 05:49 AM
So. Are you what you make, or do you make what you are?

Third possibility: You are a conduit through which passes the Divine, who consumes you and pitches your bones on the dust heap when your usefulness has gone.

I'm sure there are other possibilities.Not mutually exclusive either.

What a celebrated dustheap that would be.

isla
10-29-2013, 07:03 AM
The human mind has a facilty to assemble available bits of information to create something entirely new. It is often an emotion that triggers the assembly process. For example, I play the guitar all the time. Usually I am just playing stuff that I already know, but occasionally I hit on a melodic variation or chord sequence that gives me a buzz. It moves me in some way, and I feel compelled to work on it and develop it into a new melody or song, or just a new jazz, blues or country lick that I couldn't play before. I think it's probably the same with poetry or literature. We all have a vocabulary of words, and we can all string a sentence together, but occasionaly some emotion, be it love, anger, nostalgia or whatever, inspires us to assemble those words into something truly meaningful.

Keith Wilson
10-29-2013, 07:18 AM
Not only emotion. I design large clanking steel industrial machinery, and the process by which my knowledge of the various possibilities, the parts that are available, the way things work, the properties of materials - the way all these preliminaries arrange themselves into a new idea is as mysterious as anything in the world; as mysterious and creative as writing or composing. Nobody was ever moved to tears by airbag assembly machines or a countertop fabrication line, though. ;) OTOH, it makes countertops.

isla
10-29-2013, 07:30 AM
Not only emotion. I design large clanking steel industrial machinery, and the process by which my knowledge of the various possibilities, the parts that are available, the way things work, the properties of materials - the way all these preliminaries arrange themselves into a new idea is as mysterious as anything in the world. Nobody was ever moved to tears by a countertop fabrication line,, though. ;) OTOH, it makes countertops.

But surely ambition, the desire to impress ones peers or superiors, or to succeed in your chosen profession are all emotions, and designers must be driven by all these things, whatever the end product. I have been moved to tears by the sight of a steam locomotive, so you never know, somebody might be moved by your production line.

wizbang 13
10-29-2013, 09:06 AM
Marijuana affects people differently .
I usually go and build something or make a painting or bang on me pon .

hokiefan
10-29-2013, 09:45 AM
I've written a grand total of one really creative paragraph in my life. It was in English Comp in High School and quite honestly everyone in the room was a bit stunned. It really isn't me... But to this day I remember the subject, a cold morning fog over a pond deep in the woods. Water, imagine that...

My creativity has come in the problem solving in the industrial world where I live. It has come in one of two places. In the absentminded places where my mind is just drifting, like washing the dishes after dinner. This occasionally has worked out well.

Or the group setting where I take 3 ideas that don't work, add 1 of mine that doesn't work either, pick out the little gems of each, and put them together in one idea that is close to working. Then put it forward and with the group hash out a winner. If I have a real skill, this is it.

Cheers,

Bobby

TR
10-29-2013, 10:40 AM
I recall Bob Dylan speaking of "The creative well we all draw from."

While Frank Lloyd Wright was madly sketching, under deadline, what would become some famous building, someone asked where he got ideas? He replied, "I just shake them out of my sleeve" (Probably a paraphrase). I take this to mean that, for him, the germ of that concept was always there. This makes sense to me when a new commission asks for a boat I've had visions of for 30 years but never developed.

oznabrag
10-29-2013, 10:43 AM
Not mutually exclusive either.

Certainly not! However, I think that for most people it is one or the other.


What a celebrated dustheap that would be.

Several of us were celebrating that dustheap just the other day, when Lou Reed's bones were cast upon it.

Lew Barrett
10-29-2013, 11:10 AM
I'm thinkin' that for many years, there has been a focus on what will make money.

Not necessarily for the student, but for their future employer.

Ugly stuff.

This is how we have gotten to a place where 'economists' are valued above plumbers.

I think it is actually the opposite. I think kids are trained for a future they may never participate in. The early training, reading skills, basic math, these are critical. After that, most of the kids get a rote course. Music, art, shop, all of these have gone by the boards, and these are salable skills. Sports remain the single extra, outside activity that receives regular funding in many communities, whereas trading off your high school basketball record usually results in disappointment. School might well make more sense if a real end were kept in mind. To be clear, tracking kids too early into certain job structures could also be a big mistake. I don't pretend that this is less than complex in our complex world, but I do think we could do better in learning to identify and encourage early indicators of aptitude and interests, and be less rigid in how we view scholastic success.

I'm not sure what the kids are prepared for except more school (in the best of cases). Follow Cris's link; he says it better than I do. Note: there is a distinct difference depending on where a child is schooled so all encompassing generalities (like mine) can be a bit misleading, and of course, higher education is another story, since college and grad schools do tend to drive towards certain careers. However, in a lot of cases, they too can fail to teach reality.

Really, what I mean is that schools can fail to encourage creativity.

bogdog
10-29-2013, 11:26 AM
I recall Bob Dylan speaking of "The creative well we all draw from."

While Frank Lloyd Wright was madly sketching, under deadline, what would become some famous building, someone asked where he got ideas? He replied, "I just shake them out of my sleeve" (Probably a paraphrase). I take this to mean that, for him, the germ of that concept was always there. This makes sense to me when a new commission asks for a boat I've had visions of for 30 years but never developed.

Wright was thief BTW, got his ideas out of other's pants pockets.

Lew Barrett
10-29-2013, 01:18 PM
Wright was thief BTW, got his ideas out of other's pants pockets.

It's been said (even documented, perhaps (http://www.artsjournal.com/artopia/2006/10/wright_was_wrong.html)) that a lot of his stuff was either very difficult to build to a good engineering standard or impractical as well. He was rather famously a difficult man, and a controversial one. Yet the issue of his creativity is probably undeniable, as he broke new esthetic ground. It does seem a lot of people who we might otherwise admire as creative have other qualities that set them apart.

I mention that because I think to break fresh ground, to think creatively, one has to be willing to go outside established norms. That probably doesn't stop when you've left the drawing board or folded the easel. I'm not condoning the behavior, just trying to explore it.

oznabrag
10-29-2013, 01:25 PM
I think it is actually the opposite. I think kids are trained for a future they may never participate in. The early training, reading skills, basic math, these are critical. After that, most of the kids get a rote course. Music, art, shop, all of these have gone by the boards, and these are salable skills. Sports remain the single extra, outside activity that receives regular funding in many communities, whereas trading off your high school basketball record usually results in disappointment. School might well make more sense if a real end were kept in mind. To be clear, tracking kids too early into certain job structures could also be a big mistake. I don't pretend that this is less than complex in our complex world, but I do think we could do better in learning to identify and encourage early indicators of aptitude and interests, and be less rigid in how we view scholastic success.

I'm not sure what the kids are prepared for except more school (in the best of cases). Follow Cris's link; he says it better than I do. Note: there is a distinct difference depending on where a child is schooled so all encompassing generalities (like mine) can be a bit misleading, and of course, higher education is another story, since college and grad schools do tend to drive towards certain careers. However, in a lot of cases, they too can fail to teach reality.

Really, what I mean is that schools can fail to encourage creativity.

I see.

You are describing high school, which has let everything go by the boards EXCEPT college prep, and I was talking about college, which has let everything go by the boards except employment prep.

I would wager that it would be nearly impossible to get what used to be known as a classical education, in the US these days. You know, everything from Aristotle to Buckminster Fuller. With side trips into Franz Liszt and Ho Chi Minh.

TomF
10-29-2013, 03:45 PM
that's what decently well read families and friends are for, I think. My folks, bless 'em, regularly took us out of school to experience other things they thought far more important to our education than standard fare.

Phil Y
10-29-2013, 04:21 PM
Tom I think that is vitally important. A lot of this thread is focused on how schools kill creativity. Interesting. Where the spark comes from I don't know. The survival instinct must rely a good deal on creativity. Finding solutions to problems as they arise.

Chip-skiff
10-29-2013, 04:36 PM
Never having been ambitious in a conventional way, I enjoyed knocking about, working jobs that kept me outdoors or took me to new places. That tendency was a bit of a curse for a writing career, since each time I had the feeling I'd mastered some aspect of writing (formal Euro-American poetry) I dropped it and tried something else (fiction). The best way to make a living at writing is to find something you do well (e.g. Sue Grafton and mysteries) and then repeat it to the end of your days. Not possible for me, alas.

Writing non-fiction and articles was a pleasure because I like opening up places and natural history and skills to people who might otherwise never have the chance to know them. Creative natural history/adventure writing offers a chance to combine one's inner dialogue with the natural world: I published an essay about reading Emily Dickinson's poems while hiking Muley Twist Canyon in Utah. Another dealt with the spectral effect of moonlight on airborne powder snow (we were skiing remote slopes under the full moon). But there are too many armchair explorers: one can be worn out by popular expectations, conveyed by agents and publishers: this bit is too weird, could we cut it? And shouldn't you have some really big insight at the top of the mountain?

Nope. The wind was roaring, I was freezing my arse off and having attacks of agoraphobia, and I just wanted to get down.

There's considerable pressure to fabricate, in order to meet the expectations of readers. And if you are mostly solo, who's to know? (I do.)

Summed up, I enjoy setting my creative urge against the infinite variety of what's real: all those things and circumstances that imagination cannot alter. And hoping that some sort of truth will be the result.

Lew Barrett
10-29-2013, 07:12 PM
A lot of this thread is focused on how schools kill creativity.

Although that wasn't my intent, not that my intent need rule the direction.

I had hoped to explore the source(s) of creativity rather than to discuss what might stifle it. I'd hoped even to probe the thrill that comes with conception and accomplishment, and perhaps discuss the space between the idea of divine inspiration (the mind as a vessel?) versus the notion of creativity welling up from the unconscious or as a spontaneous generation. Or something else........

These discussions go where they go notwithstanding.

I can try to restate the issue: where does music come from? How do you make a great movie? Why is something funny?

Chip-skiff
10-29-2013, 09:10 PM
I can try to restate the issue: where does music come from? How do you make a great movie? Why is something funny?

These topics are too fuzzy and edgeless to engage persons who actually do music, art, film, and comedy, day to day.

Appearances nothwithstanding, most practicing artists are quite practical. And in a society that holds artists suspect and makes their lives difficult, they have to be, to survive.

I'm not talking about the best-selling, hit-making, collectible, grantworthy 0.1%.

oznabrag
10-29-2013, 09:53 PM
These topics are too fuzzy and edgeless to engage persons who actually do music, art, film, and comedy, day to day.

Appearances nothwithstanding, most practicing artists are quite practical. And in a society that holds artists suspect and makes their lives difficult, they have to be, to survive.

I'm not talking about the best-selling, hit-making, collectible, grantworthy 0.1%.

Indeed.

It is a wonder any have survived mass media.

Think about it: It only takes a few bands to take care of the core, and another few more to round out the entire contemporary music scene in the US.

300,000,000 people, and maybe 3000 musicians making 99% of the music they listen to.

Compare this to the days before recording.

Lew Barrett
10-29-2013, 11:10 PM
I'd suggest you are being too literal as creativity arrives in many forms, not just the arts, but for some reason we seem to be in a box here.

We had a comment, (from Phil) that the conversation had meandered away from an exploration into the source of original thought to the realm of why there isn't much. I don't think that's true, that is that thought and creativity is dead, so I tried to rephrase the question to focus back on the original pose: how does genius arise?

The examples were just....examples of areas that we can agree require original thought. The nature of artists, why it's hard? Not really on my mind.

Duncan Gibbs
10-29-2013, 11:20 PM
I had hoped to explore the source(s) of creativity rather than to discuss what might stifle it. I'd hoped even to probe the thrill that comes with conception and accomplishment, and perhaps discuss the space between the idea of divine inspiration (the mind as a vessel?) versus the notion of creativity welling up from the unconscious or as a spontaneous generation. Or something else.......
I restate my earlier post and also point to my signature line from the same tome by Woolf, because she deals with this exact topic with the overlay of "women and fiction." The gist about how creativity comes about is, however, pretty universal within the lecture.

I think a repeatable example is that Mozart wrote music that sounds like Mozart, specifically because of the time he lived, where he lived, who his parents were, what their social standing was, the opportunities that were presented him and so on. Take away just one of the influencing factors and there would be no great repertoire of K1 to K626. Einstein's tremendous achievements are the same. To a great extent the creative spark is an accidental confluence of our evolution and individual examples accidental confluences of history, right up this minute.

Lew Barrett
10-30-2013, 02:11 PM
Thank you Dunc! I'm still digesting what you are saying, but whatever that outcome, I'm glad you said it!

Our ideas will always reflect our "times" but once in awhile somebody truly advances the program. In my work experience, the introduction of digitized media (in my case, audio) was a true revolution. The company that actually did it first failed to fully capitalize on their work, but we all knew instantly that things would not be the same going forward.

Lew Barrett
10-30-2013, 02:21 PM
By the way, the guy who did that (Thomas Stockham of Soundstream) was a pure engineering type. I don't know if digital audio was the result of (as another Thomas once said) inspiration or perspiration or some mix of both (likely the latter) but it was a game changer. Today, Soundstream doesn't exist to my knowledge.

Another interesting thing about new ideas: they are almost always dangerous to the existing "authorities." Respected engineers in the field came up with the wildest and most outrageous arguments against using the development (I mean really whacky stuff, virtually to the point of claiming digital sound would be bad for your health).

Original thinking is not only amazing, it can be threatening. How much of the world's treasured music was introduced to pans and jeers?

Is another quality of originality the requirement for a degree of courage?

oznabrag
10-30-2013, 02:31 PM
I'd suggest you are being too literal as creativity arrives in many forms, not just the arts, but for some reason we seem to be in a box here.

We had a comment, (from Phil) that the conversation had meandered away from an exploration into the source of original thought to the realm of why there isn't much. I don't think that's true, that is that thought and creativity is dead, so I tried to rephrase the question to focus back on the original pose: how does genius arise?

The examples were just....examples of areas that we can agree require original thought. The nature of artists, why it's hard? Not really on my mind.

OK.

I don't think for one second that creativity is dead!

I offer you my apologies for continuing the thread drift, but you must admit that Chip has a point. Your topic has VERY fuzzy edges!

I would like to say that 'creativity' IS 'life'.

The same mechanism that drives evolution drives the invention of a new type of screw, for instance, or a raked bow instead of plumb. Someone posted a trailer for 'World War Z' the other day, with scenes of hyper-animated zombies forming a 'human' pyramid of completely random attempts at scaling a wall, with the resultant failures becoming carnal stepping stones for the next attempt.

That is the creative process.

Sometimes, the ideas pile up quickly and in an orderly fashion, and your song/painting/sculpture soars over the wall without effort, but sometimes you have to stew for months or even years.

The image of F. L. Wright spitting out a full set of drawings for 'Falling Water' (with details) in the space of 6 hours sets the standard for this sort of thing.

Our brains are wired in such a way that the subconscious works 24/7/365.25, and it is this constant churning that allows the occasional burst into conscious structure of poetry or insight into form/language/color.

It is the 1000-monkeys-with-typewriters writ small.

oznabrag
10-30-2013, 02:36 PM
By the way, the guy who did that (Thomas Stockham of Soundstream) was a pure engineering type. I don't know if digital audio was the result of (as another Thomas once said) inspiration or perspiration or some mix of both (likely the latter) but it was a game changer. Today, Soundstream doesn't exist to my knowledge.

Another interesting thing about new ideas: they are almost always dangerous to the existing "authorities." Respected engineers in the field came up with the wildest and most outrageous arguments against using the development (I mean really whacky stuff, virtually to the point of claiming digital sound would be bad for your health).

Original thinking is not only amazing, it can be threatening. How much of the world's treasured music was introduced to pans and jeers?

Is another quality of originality the requirement for a degree of courage?

Very much so, IMO. Not only must one be unafraid of the world as it is, one must also lack any fear of what one might reveal oneself to be.

Therein lies the essence of the question: Do you make what you are, or are you what you make?

Duncan Gibbs
10-30-2013, 04:12 PM
Very much so, IMO. Not only must one be unafraid of the world as it is, one must also lack any fear of what one might reveal oneself to be.
I actually disagree. The idea, or creative output may well be revolutionary, but more often than not its author is someone who is highly affected by the World around them, as it it is this same social transaction that gives them the platform for the creative output.

To whit (again from Woolf):
“Money dignifies what is frivolous if unpaid for.” and "Moreover, it is all very well for you, who have got yourselves to college and enjoy sitting-rooms — or is it only bed-sitting-rooms? — of your own to say that genius should disregard such opinions; that genius should be above caring what is said of it. Unfortunately, it is precisely the men or women of genius who mind most what is said of them."

It's said that Kafka wrote all his works (even the really dark ones) when he was at his happiest, and wrote nothing when in one of his fits of depression he was prone to.

TR
10-30-2013, 04:27 PM
Original thinking is not only amazing, it can be threatening. How much of the world's treasured music was introduced to pans and jeers?

Is another quality of originality the requirement for a degree of courage?

Of course! Phil Bolger, French Impressionists, Andre Allegre (designer Pen Duick IV)......

Keith Wilson
10-30-2013, 04:49 PM
Do you make what you are, or are you what you make?Yes.

FWIW, the distinction between 'creative types' and 'engineering types' is IMHO completely bogus, and the distinction between creative engineering and art very fuzzy, to a considerable extent just a matter of convention..

Lew Barrett
10-30-2013, 04:57 PM
OK.

I don't think for one second that creativity is dead!

I offer you my apologies for continuing the thread drift, but you must admit that Chip has a point. Your topic has VERY fuzzy edges!...........

Dear John, :D

I think it can't avoid fuzzy edges, and was worded accordingly. The human mind is still little understood. Also, I think it's only fair to leave open the option of "divine intervention" (in fact, I sort of encouraged it) because without that point of view, what we are left with is a bunch of guys agreeing that the unconscious workings of the mind spin and spin like a gyroscope until eventually with the right stimuli out spits a eureka moment. I went into this knowing guys like Tom would have something of interest to say.


I would like to say that 'creativity' IS 'life'.
It is for human beings. My dog is capable of some degree of creativity, my cat probably even more since he is a better escape artist. I love my dog and he emotes and, I suspect, reasons at a higher level than I give him credit for, but he is incapable of the kind of thinking we are talking about.

Yeah, it's fuzzy, but is there nothing more magical than the constant turning of gears. Or is that magic enough?

I mention humor as a creative function because it seems to me that the best quips, puns and snark can be observed instantly during conversation. You know: when somebody says something hilarious as an instant follow up to an external event? Pure spontaneous creativity.

Maybe that's your thousand monkeys with a typewriter. After all how much more often are we subjected to jokes that aren't funny? :)

Lew Barrett
10-30-2013, 05:10 PM
Of course! Phil Bolger, French Impressionists, Andre Allegre (designer Pen Duick IV)......

My wife and I spent a day wandering the Metropolitan Museum of Art a few weeks ago. Their Impressionists collection was overwhelming. Pure genius and craft mixed in stupendous abundance.

Well, we can say that now, at any rate.

Lew Barrett
10-30-2013, 05:14 PM
Unfortunately, it is precisely the men or women of genius who mind most what is said of them."



I'm not in anyway comparable to the people you quote but I do think that some of the best creative decisions I have made evoked deep feelings of insecurity and turmoil in me when I made them, and I frequently have thought how much I would hate to look foolish for having done so. The fear of appearing stupid is a powerful restraining force, even if the thoughts one harbors are anything but.

That's where courage comes in handy.

oznabrag
10-30-2013, 06:40 PM
Yes.

FWIW, the distinction between 'creative types' and 'engineering types' is IMHO completely bogus, and the distinction between creative engineering and art very fuzzy, to a considerable extent just a matter of convention..

I agree about the bogus distinction. Creative engineering IS art. I think that it is useful to remember that the RCC took it upon itself to define what Art was, back when they were building a bunch of cathedrals. Architecture, sculpture and painting made the cut. Furniture did not. The damning characteristic of furniture was that it was 'useful', and I believe that this can be added to the litany of the sins that organization has perpetrated upon a suffering world. :d


Dear John, :D

I think it can't avoid fuzzy edges, and was worded accordingly. The human mind is still little understood. Also, I think it's only fair to leave open the option of "divine intervention" (in fact, I sort of encouraged it) because without that point of view, what we are left with is a bunch of guys agreeing that the unconscious workings of the mind spin and spin like a gyroscope until eventually with the right stimuli out spits a eureka moment. I went into this knowing guys like Tom would have something of interest to say.


It is for human beings. My dog is capable of some degree of creativity, my cat probably even more since he is a better escape artist. I love my dog and he emotes and, I suspect, reasons at a higher level than I give him credit for, but he is incapable of the kind of thinking we are talking about.

Yeah, it's fuzzy, but is there nothing more magical than the constant turning of gears. Or is that magic enough?

I mention humor as a creative function because it seems to me that the best quips, puns and snark can be observed instantly during conversation. You know: when somebody says something hilarious as an instant follow up to an external event? Pure spontaneous creativity.

Maybe that's your thousand monkeys with a typewriter. After all how much more often are we subjected to jokes that aren't funny? :)

I think you have to take it just a little further. The 'monkeys' are all parts of the same consciousness, and as they spew out the random characters that will become the 'answer' the CPU manages to snatch the best bits and forms the pattern from them. Sometimes they arrange themselves in a pleasing manner, and sometimes it's just dreck.


I'm not in anyway comparable to the people you quote but I do think that some of the best creative decisions I have made evoked deep feelings of insecurity and turmoil in me when I made them, and I frequently have thought how much I would hate to look foolish for having done so. The fear of appearing stupid is a powerful restraining force, even if the thoughts one harbors are anything but.

That's where courage comes in handy.

That is EXACTLY what I meant to say.

Glen Longino
10-30-2013, 07:05 PM
I agree about the bogus distinction. Creative engineering IS art. I think that it is useful to remember that the RCC took it upon itself to define what Art was, back when they were building a bunch of cathedrals. Architecture, sculpture and painting made the cut. Furniture did not. The damning characteristic of furniture was that it was 'useful', and I believe that this can be added to the litany of the sins that organization has perpetrated upon a suffering world. :d



I think you have to take it just a little further. The 'monkeys' are all parts of the same consciousness, and as they spew out the random characters that will become the 'answer' the CPU manages to snatch the best bits and forms the pattern from them. Sometimes they arrange themselves in a pleasing manner, and sometimes it's just dreck.



That is EXACTLY what I meant to say.

It's obvious to me that some of you gents have more "spark" than others of us!:)
I appreciate you geniuses the same way I appreciate brilliant chess players. I can't presume to play chess with them, but I enjoy the play nonetheless! :) Keep up the good work!

CWSmith
10-30-2013, 07:14 PM
I think "The Creative Spark" is an internal discussion between understanding, trial & error, free association, and a point of view, although I like the God idea. Don't dismiss a point of view - copycats rarely do anything creative.

oznabrag
10-30-2013, 08:13 PM
I think "The Creative Spark" is an internal discussion between understanding, trial & error, free association, and a point of view, although I like the God idea. Don't dismiss a point of view - copycats rarely do anything creative.

I feel as though you are articulating this better than I can!

Lew Barrett
10-30-2013, 08:27 PM
Agree, Oz!

For Tad:

Two impressionist works (and the only two pictures I took) from the Met's Impressionist collection. They don't begin to show the nuances, but I hope you'll believe me when I say that I took them in consideration of this forum thinking that one day they would come in handy.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff76/LewBarrett/Rowboat_zpsa5e7715a.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff76/LewBarrett/marinescene_zps928cd081.jpg

They are so much better in person that this borders on travesty.

Artist: Edouard Monet

oznabrag
10-30-2013, 08:36 PM
I feel as though you are articulating this better than I can!


Agree, Oz!

...



Gee, thanks, Lew.:rolleyes:

Chip-skiff
10-30-2013, 08:38 PM
FWIW, the distinction between 'creative types' and 'engineering types' is IMHO completely bogus, and the distinction between creative engineering and art very fuzzy, to a considerable extent just a matter of convention..

While working as a hydrologist, I took note of gear that didn't work well and started redesigning it and building new versions, often with very different materials. Lately I've been building inflatable boats for mapping and sampling, and also portable cableways for deploying sensors on channel cross-sections. The design process engages the same part of me as writing– very enjoyable to build and test and rebuild until something is right.

The common element, I think, is a bent for problem-solving, whether with words or schedule 40 aluminum.

Lew Barrett
10-30-2013, 08:38 PM
Gee, thanks, Lew.:rolleyes:

I meant...I meant.....! I meant.....CW's sentiment was well expressed! Oh, this can't end well!

TR
11-02-2013, 04:26 PM
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/management/20131029theglobeandmailtalkingmanagementbertrandce svetmov3000mov/article15137867/

oznabrag
11-02-2013, 04:47 PM
I meant...I meant.....! I meant.....CW's sentiment was well expressed! Oh, this can't end well!

Hey...didn't I leave a big grin around here the other day?


It looked like this: :D

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
11-02-2013, 05:01 PM
Lew,

My call on this (and someone may have already said it, I haven't read all posts), is dissatisfaction, or restlessness. It's known that most great comedians had screwed up childhoods, either lonely, or abusive, or loss of a parent very young. Often a particular interest is a refuge from unhappiness in the rest of their life. Next would be the desire to achieve to make your mark in the world, or to get ahead. You see fewer acts of genius from landed gentry with plenty of old money. Some genius comes from a strong desire to help others, or even strong nationalism in a time of war. And still others come from families that nurture and encourage achievement. Now all of the above are motivations to achieve, not necessarily the genius of creation itself. But I'm saying that a lot of "genius" is a function of desire and work. Chuck Yeager always said that he didn't believe in that Right Stuff thing, he said he was good because he was well trained and well practiced. There are flashes of genius in the world that are counter to this, 3-year-olds that play Mozart, savants, but most brilliance, I believe, is rooted in sociological causes, rather than biological, and is "evolutionary" in it progression of building on earlier achievements, as opposed from going from A to Z, though occasionally there is the rare person that makes huge leaps. However, nothing is 100%, it can come from both.

TR
11-02-2013, 05:33 PM
Agree, Oz!

For Tad:

Two impressionist works (and the only two pictures I took) from the Met's Impressionist collection. They don't begin to show the nuances, but I hope you'll believe me when I say that I took them in consideration of this forum thinking that one day they would come in handy.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff76/LewBarrett/Rowboat_zpsa5e7715a.jpg

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff76/LewBarrett/marinescene_zps928cd081.jpg

They are so much better in person that this borders on travesty.

Artist: Edouard Monet

Lew....Thanks for those, it inspired a visit to the excellent Metropolitan website where you find all these paintings and some description of each.

First the artist of the two above is Edouard Manet, not Claude Monet. Manet was older and perhaps more established than Monet in 1874 when the first "Impressionist" group exhibition was held in Paris. Manet was seen as a leader at some point, though in a group made up of Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Degas, Morisot, and Sisley it would be impossible to lead. The couple in a small boat is called simply "Boating", was dated 1874 but not shown until 1879, when it was called the last word in painting. The other sailing panorama is called Kearsarge (1864) and a "current event" painting of the US Gunboat Kearsarge, famous for sinking a confederate raider.....

Boudin, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eug%C3%A8ne_Boudin Pissarro, and Sisley are my favorites, but to stand in front of Monet's "Woman with Parasol" in the National Gallery(Washington DC) is an extraordinary thing.

Chip-skiff
11-02-2013, 11:57 PM
Museums- love 'em. Unlike some, the Chicago Institute of Art allows photographs (no flash) and I took quite a few. On my second day of trying to duplicate the art (no lens distortion, etc.) I was having a hell of a time with reflections in a glass case that held a 15th century suit of German armour. Then I realised that the reflections were beautiful, too. So I centered the reflected chandelier under the visor of the helmet.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-nZ_nuv7gAWU/Ue73mpZucDI/AAAAAAAAEWA/d-tiwx_qiFk/s512/CIA10.jpg

My shoulders are reflected, but not my face. There's a suggestion that one is seeing into more than one dimension, multiple realities. Photography is wonderful (as is music) for letting you pull these spur-of-the-moment tricks.

Chip-skiff
11-03-2013, 12:04 AM
Here's another museum composite. The greens caught my eye and the composition is nice as well.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-5oSg6vnGesM/Ue73SSH6HDI/AAAAAAAAEVo/OKoAqzxtyVE/s512/CIA7.jpg

Lew Barrett
11-03-2013, 01:21 PM
Lew....Thanks for those, it inspired a visit to the excellent Metropolitan website where you find all these paintings and some description of each.

First the artist of the two above is Edouard Manet, not Claude Monet. Manet was older and perhaps more established than Monet in 1874 when the first "Impressionist" group exhibition was held in Paris. Manet was seen as a leader at some point, though in a group made up of Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Degas, Morisot, and Sisley it would be impossible to lead. The couple in a small boat is called simply "Boating", was dated 1874 but not shown until 1879, when it was called the last word in painting. The other sailing panorama is called Kearsarge (1864) and a "current event" painting of the US Gunboat Kearsarge, famous for sinking a confederate raider.....

Boudin, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eug%C3%A8ne_Boudin Pissarro, and Sisley are my favorites, but to stand in front of Monet's "Woman with Parasol" in the National Gallery(Washington DC) is an extraordinary thing.

The rendering of the water in those paintings is terrific. I misspelled "Manet" but did get the Edourad correct: from memory. The Monet collection is terrific, but then, the whole museum is. Not to be overlooked are the jewelery collections: simply amazing.

Lew Barrett
11-03-2013, 01:26 PM
Museums- love 'em. Unlike some, the Chicago Institute of Art allows photographs (no flash) and I took quite a few. On my second day of trying to duplicate the art (no lens distortion, etc.)

The Met NY allows photos for personal use. It feels like stealing, and I have never liked taking pictures in museums anyway since the beauty of seeing art in person is that there is no way a casually used camera can capture the detail and wonder of great objects seen as they are meant to be, but what else can you do? If you liked the armor in Chicago, the stuff in the Met of NY will absolutely blow you away: but then, that's even more true of the British Museum.

One nice thing about the NY Met: no glass between you and the armor; you could touch it (if you dared).

oznabrag
11-03-2013, 01:36 PM
The rendering of the water in those paintings is terrific. I misspelled "Manet" but did get the Edourad correct: from memory. The Monet collection is terrific, but then, the whole museum is. Not to be overlooked are the jewelery collections: simply amazing.

2395.

Lew Barrett
11-03-2013, 01:40 PM
2395.

What did I say? You have to see it in person, you'll be of a different mind then. My pictures were just to show they have renderings of wooden boats in the Met. :)

oznabrag
11-03-2013, 01:45 PM
Agree, Oz!

For Tad:

Two impressionist works (and the only two pictures I took) from the Met's Impressionist collection. They don't begin to show the nuances, but I hope you'll believe me when I say that I took them in consideration of this forum thinking that one day they would come in handy.
...

They are so much better in person that this borders on travesty.

Artist: Edouard Monet


The rendering of the water in those paintings is terrific. I misspelled "Manet" but did get the Edourad correct: from memory. The Monet collection is terrific, but then, the whole museum is. Not to be overlooked are the jewelery collections: simply amazing.


What did I say? You have to see it in person, you'll be of a different mind then. My pictures were just to show they have renderings of wooden boats in the Met. :)

I'm just poking a little fun at you, my good man!

Lew Barrett
11-03-2013, 02:34 PM
I am sensitive! And a poor typist! And not a particularly strong art historian either!

But I am creative :D

Chip-skiff
11-03-2013, 03:01 PM
One more museum pic: the art of watching art watchers.

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-hFq4n_2uV2U/Unaq4y2UTOI/AAAAAAAAE0M/hpmfrP8zEVA/s720/art.jpg