lørdag 20. april 2013

Creativity and the talent myth and craft

First of all. I think this task is sort of silly? The reason I think this task is so silly is that it seems to me that, beyond our base needs, a lot of human activity is creativity of one sort or another. Hell, even fulfilling a base need like the need for food can be creative.

We have been creative since we lived in caves. It is probably what made humans as cool as they are today.

The term “creativity” is very broad, really. It refers to something of subjective value being created. So basically it means the creation of something of value on a personal level, making it up to each of us what is of value and thus what is creative. How vague. Kind of like trying to define “art.”

Games are cool because so many crafts are included in the creation of a game. Creativity manifests in graphics and in the gameplay and in the programming and in the sound and everything, it seems to me. Everyone who worked on those things had to figure out how to make a game just like how it is made, and there is creativity exhibited in that process.

I feel a bit like I’m just writing porridge here so I’m gonna stop now and get on to the talent-bit.

It’s hard to say if there really is such a thing as naturally inherited talents and that different people may be naturally predisposed towards different skill sets. We are certainly not all born equal, but if the differences stem from actual differences within ourselves or is purely a result of external stimulus and the time and resources put into our upbringing, it’s impossible for me to know, and if I’m to start theorising about it then that’s really just going to be guesswork and pseudoscientific mumbo jumbo.

But it seems to me that people who are good at something, are people who have spent a lot of time doing just that thing. Television artist Bob Ross says that “talent is a pursued interest. In other words, anything that you’re willing to practice, you can do.”


He also says things like “Just go out and talk to a tree. Make friends with it” and “Clouds are very free, they just float around the sky and have fun all day.” Bob Ross is a cool dude. I’m not sure to what extent you can trust his wisdom. I think he’s got it right about talent, though.

The difference between a five year old drawing and me drawing is I’ve got 15 more years of experience and slightly more expensive pencils.

We all like different stuff when we are children, and we tend to spend time on things we like. We become better at activites we spend time on. Skills are formed, foundations laid. Twenty years later we are artists, writers, musicians, photographers, football players, whatever. Some people put aside their interests as hobbies in favour of safer jobs, others pursue careers in their interests, and that’s fine.

In the end it’s all about working hard and smart and being disciplined. If there really is such a thing as some sort of inherited talent, then it comes second to all that. You could have talent pouring out of your ears, but if you didn’t work hard then you wouldn’t have anything to show to prove to others you are creative anyway so what does it matter.

Okay cool bye.

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