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Chris Campbell

Top Ten Myths About Creativity

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This thread has given me a few good laughs while I am at work.

 

I never really thought about the statement 'I play with clay' making what I do have less meaning and impact. It just feels so right for me to say. I always underplay everything that I do because I hate getting compliments -_- I do what I do for me, not for anybody else. I am slowly changing my thoughts on this or how I show my thoughts as I need to sell my stuff!

 

People always come along and expect some creative conversations with all the jargon that I just don't have. I express myself in a pot but rarely give it words to justify it. I have always been terrible with words.

 

Back to some on topic talk. All humans are creative. As somebody said you can define it in two ways, three ways, or an infinite number of ways.

 

This post is a little here nor there as I am taking calls while writing but I will post anyway  :D

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I usually have to labour very hard to make anything that is worthwhile.

(Some would say that I do not have much raw artistic talent, and I would agree)

However, some of my best pieces came from very little planning or hard work, when I just let myself go.

(Thinking & planning too much can inhibit your creativity)

I have also seen people who have never attempted a particular thing, i.e. making a figure,

and the first time they do it, they do it ten times quicker and better (in an artistic sense) than I did, with no effort.

 

So I absolutely think that art does not necessarily go with hard work.

It sometimes does, and sometimes does not.

Some people are just very gifted in a particular way

Sometimes I tell people that learning to throw on the wheel did not come naturally for me. I've actually had student who learned to center a lot more easily than I did. What I am is stubborn. I practiced for 20 years anyway!

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or they say, "i want to come to your studio and play with clay, too".

 

or "You must have time (to do whatever it is they want you to do) since you only play with clay".

 

We tend to sic this rabid dog on ourselves....... because so MANY ceramicst tend to say "I play with clay" or something to that effect.  Including the damn T-shirts that get sold and potters wear.  Until we take ourselves far more seriously and the work we do with the same level of respect as say a CPA does over their accounting skils and economic advice and outcomes.... the appreciation and prices for claywork will falter.  Words matter. 

 

best,

 

.........................john

 

Years ago my father and mother came to visit us. I took him into school and showed him my classrooms. At that time I had worked things where I had a very large room 20X60 connected to a smaller 20X30 for Ceramics with as many bells and whistles as I could put in there. I also had a large 20X70 room for the Electronic Studio that had 30 workstations with electronic keyboards and drawing tablets that the music and my animation classes used. Long story short he always talked about my job as "He doesn't work, he has two playrooms with all the toys you could want"!  He was proud of it, but really did not understand how I would feel about him saying it  that way.  I was told years ago, find something you love doing, and you'll never have to work a day of your life. We found it, now we have to pay for the way it is perceived.

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I have been absent from these forums for awhile and am getting caught up (in lots of ways) on what's been happening.  I find nothing wrong with "playing in the mud".  It is while we are at play that we usually make/take our greatest strides.  If I were to spin the phrase, it would only be to add three more words:  with a purpose. 

 

If someone belittles one of your children, wouldn't you stand up to their petty remarks and not let them slide?  Same things go for your creative output.  Don't accept dismissive remarks--push back a bit.  Don't have to get mean or snarly, but let them know they've stepped over the line.  

 

Words do count.  Playing the stock market is a misnomer--unless you actually don't care about your financial future.

                            In business negotiations playing to win is considered a good thing (or is it?).

 

I learned a long time ago that even common every-day-words can open an abyss between two people as easily as it can bridge a separation.  I just don't take for granted that the person I'm speaking with has the same attitude towards life as I do.  If I care about the subject and the person I'm discussing it with, I'll work hard to get to their point of view, and just as hard to let them see mine.  I do not like confrontation, but I also don't like bootprints on my back.  

 

Shirley

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There's an educational philosophy which at its root is the concept that htere is no difference between work and play, so students play at Maths, Language etc   I think it was the Montessori method, anyway it had its successes, so our attitude to our doings on the planet influence at least the children we communicate with.  All the Mondays when people drag themselves off to work...WHilst some ceramist/potters can't drag themselves out of their studios to eat/sleep or converse with loved ones!

Does creativity die when we consider it as work?

Play can be pretty bleedin' serious.

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I was told years ago, and have heard it repeated often: find something you love doing, and you will never have to work the rest of your life. So what is it if you don't work, because you love doing it? Play? I think not, but it sure isn't work. . . . .

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Play is developing an idea, a technique, or learning to use a new tool, or do something in another, or more efficient way.  Work is when you apply those to a hundred pots.  You still love the work, but the first can be a lot more fulfilling to me.  Now for some it may be the reverse.

 

John

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The issue with the "play" comment is not so much targeted toward ourselves, as we know that the play we do actually is a lot of hard work......... but if others think of  what we do solely as "play" in the more traditional understanding of that word to the layperson......... why should they consider paying us good money to play?

 

It is about creating perception.  And perception is reality for people.

 

best,

 

.........john

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Maybe we should adopt that same phraseology for what we do.  They are accurately communicating what they do.  Medicine is considered an art, not a science.  There is more to doing it well than simply pure science.  Ceramics has a "technical, scienc-ey" side too.... but it also has more to it than the pure technical. 

 

So...... we practice ceramic art.  Most of us are GPs.... General Practitioners of Ceramic Arts.  (New initials after name.... G.P. C. A.) ;)

 

best,

 

.................john; G.P.C.A.

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This thread started with an article about some myths of creativity, but unless I missed something in the article or the responding posts, the term "creativity" has not been defined.  I know of and more or less agree with the "10,000 hours rule", practice makes perfect.  The Beetles spent those ten thousand hours before they became an overnight sensation.  I get it. But there are many more people who have practiced singing for that long and still can't carry a tune, let alone create new music that shakes the world.  The same is true in our........work.  Creativity is not necessarily pretty pictures and symmetrical pots.  To me creativity is seeing new patterns in the reality inside and outside your own mind and communicating that reality you have discovered to others.  I do not think the "10 myths" are always necessarily myths, except I do believe that there is creativity in science and mathematics.   Skill gives us tools to express ourselves, but is not necessarily in and of itself creativity.  I think there is usually  suffering, uncertainty and mistakes inherent in creating and expressing something new, and occasionally, success.  

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I taught elementary art for four years. What was I thinking ! All the snotty nosed hugs-yikes.

Any way, the grade 2 teacher said;"Tom, draw me an elephant."

This would require actually looking at an elephant, doing research,sketches,practise,and then maybe, just maybe,producing a quality drawing.

I said;"I am not a tap that you can turn on and off to get hot or cold water.I am an artist. I don't thinlk I used the "f "word, although I thought it.

I was eating lunch at the time. Although I am fabulously talented, I am only interested in doing what I am interested in. [That is a dangaling participle].

I AM NOT A TAP TO BE TURNED ON AND OFF. Draw your own elephant.

TJR.

I don't even draw elephants on my best day. I make pots.

You could draw them an elephant that has been swallowed by a snake . . .

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.................practice makes perfect. 

 

Actually........ perfect practice makes perfect.  Practicing the same "mistakes" over and over and over just reinforces those problems. 

 

Reflective, critical, and directed practice, with consttant re-evaluation makes perfect.

 

best,

 

........................john

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.................practice makes perfect. 

 

Actually........ perfect practice makes perfect.  Practicing the same "mistakes" over and over and over just reinforces those problems. 

 

Reflective, critical, and directed practice, with consttant re-evaluation makes perfect.

 

best,

 

........................john

 

...CRAP!! I'm completely screwed!

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