Posts Tagged ‘Creativity’

Bob Dylan

Posted: September 12, 2010 by Tawar in Uncategorized
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I went to this cute (but now expired) photo exhibition at the quaint Blender Gallery down in Paddington. It has taken me a while to write about this particular exhibition because despite the artistically candid photograph’s which aptly capture the zeitgeist of Dylan’s musical era, I really had difficulties articulating my thoughts on it.

Bob Dylan exhibition

Bob Dylan exhibition

It was almost as if I was compelled to view this exhibition purely because appreciating one of the permanently famous fixtures of the 60s rock music era is an imperative part of learning about Western music history.

I started thinking of this notion of compulsory learning and its pervasiveness in art education that occurs at an early age. Art was always taught around a rigid and hackneyed syllabus as far back as I can remember. Every subject that was remotely related to art managed to include Monet, Picasso and Van Gogh. I clearly remember in year five the exercise in which we were instructed to imitate Monet’s White Water Lillies. What I can’t remember is the one time individual creativity was encouraged, or learning about unorthodox art. And if it was, the memory of the experience has, alas, not stayed with me.

Now what does that say about the way art is taught, if it should be taught at all.

Syllabuses should reflect the diversity in the art world because within this diversity the art world is able to charm and inspire every individual.

It saddens me that this was bereft in the syllabuses that I was taught by.

If art education was approached in a broader and more unorthodox manner, I believe, it would have spoken to more students and would have kindled their artistic selves within rather than repelling many becoming an outcast of the artistic world, something that has become a travesty of art.

On my way to Blender I found something else that spoke to me a greater deal than the actual photos

Street Art

Street Art: A lomo camera painted outside the Blender Gallery

This is what I will write about in my next post but until then…

What were your experiences in art education?

And what has become of your artistic selves?

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I remember feeling wildly creative and free about the age of 5.  There were lazy days of crayolas and texters in a million different colours transcending my dream world onto the paper.  Every day in kindy, we all coloured in our books and shared our dreamtime…it was all so natural.  And then somewhere around the age of 9, I got the sense that this dreamy world was somehow less important than reading my books and learning arithmetic.  By the age of 14, there was “us” and “them”….the artistic types who pursued the creative arts as a career and the rest of us.

Somehow, the further away I got from the age of 5, the further away I got from that feeling that I could just pick up any utensil: pencil, marker, whatever…and let my creative spirit speak in whatever voice it chose on the day.

By the time I was 20 and needed to take some kind of artistic elective course at Uni, I was slightly panicked.  I couldn’t imagine that I had any talent in any of the options available.  I even asked if it would be possible for me to study an extra unit of art history instead…..completely distanced from that 5 year old who confidently picked up a texter or a paintbrush without reservation and had the best day everyday just for the sheer pleasure in all of it.

And lately I’ve been asking myself why?  Why do we devalue the artistic creative spirit at such a young age in our educational system?  After all, we value “innovation” in business, don’t we?  We value the creative thinker who can create new opportunities in business or solve complex problems.

I caught up Nola Diamantopoulos, a former corporate type, celebrated Sydney artist and creative coach to explore this further.  Check out the podcast interview to hear her insights and some interesting observations on the subject…..

There was no such thing as cubism or pointalism before somebody decided to make these marks on a canvas – in effect to break the rules of art. So what’s stopping us from just making a mark on the canvas?….Nola Diamantopolous

The truth is that we are all creative beings.  We showed up on this gorgeous planet to create a unique expression of ourselves.  Every act we take is an expression of that creativity: our personality, lifestyle choices, fashion sense, musical taste and the films we see on the weekend to name a few.  The dreams that start in our heads manifest themselves in our career choices, our next holiday, our relationships, etc…  In short, it’s the realm of possibility manifested in physical form.  But does that mean that we’re creating our full potential?  Could we be more creative?  If so, how??

I’d love to hear your story….what does creativity mean to you?

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It seems like our journey at Breaking Into The Arts has been about connecting (or reconnecting) with art and about connecting artists with non-artists. The logical progression to explore is all of us reconnecting to the artist within, to acknowledging our individual and collective creativity: in short, re-affirming the infinite realm of possibility.

The notion of becoming an artist can seem daunting for most of us non-artists. It brings up all the doubts we have about our inherent talent and the fear of being judged based on what we create: the end product. None of us want to hear that the piece of art we spent so much time working on is ordinary. Somehow the object we create gets confused with our sense of self, our understanding of our own value and wisdom.

The truth is that art is often more about the journey than the destination. Its about other things like just letting go of what the outcome is and simply enjoying being lost in the moment, in the unimaginable expanse of colour, time and possibility.  How often do we take time out of our impossibly busy lives to just sit and doodle (or whatever your favourite equivalent may be)…draw without aim….let our minds wander.  It exercises a completely different set of brain “muscles” and lets us experiment – do things that are irresponsible, illogical and even absurd. How good is that?   I can’t tell you how many days I had at my corporate job wishing I could do something outrageous!

So I’ve been doing an experiment lately….trying to interpret something in my life through a different lens: see something differently, even the most obvious things I already “know”.   Last week I took my non-artist self on my regular walk to see if I would notice anything that I hadn’t seen on the same walk I’ve been on hundreds of times before. Here’s a sample of what I found:

Baywalk Hidden Treasures

The truth is that it was about being present – not absent-minded and not distracted by something else that I allowed to enter my brain space that clouded my lens – and it was about not judging what kind of photo I ended up with….I took this photo with my phone – no fancy camera, no thinking about composition, I just did it.   And I was amazed at how many things I saw that I had never seen before.

Whether its photography or some other medium, there is a different way to explore the world through an artistic lens and in the process, we are actually enhancing our brains to do other things as a side benefit.

We’re learning more everyday about how things like music build new and different neuro-pathways.  In example, Melody Gardot , the 24 year old platinum selling jazz musician, taught herself how to speak after a horrific car accident using music.  I was so inspired by this story that I’ve decided to try to take up some kind of music even though it’s somewhat daunting for me.

I ran across this one week study program in Cuba: yes, you’re reading this right…. if you’re going to dream, dream big, right?? Kosa Music is a sensational educational opportunity to combine culture, rhythm, music and celebration into your new artistic practice in 2011. Ok, ok……so maybe traveling to Cuba in March isn’t realistic, but it is good to start dreaming and using all the creativity we were born with to reclaim that space within and be in our fullest expression as human beings, fully integrated.

So what about you? Are you using an art practice to explore some aspect of your life or are you thinking about trying something new?

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