When I started ARHtistic License, I had one goal: to encourage and inspire people to create. I hoped to do that by giving you permission to experiment with your art, providing practical advice, and connecting artists in all genres.
I still think that’s a great goal, but I worry that I’m not doing that as effectively as I hope. So I invite you to ask me anything at all about the arts or the creative process. If I don’t know the answer, I’m willing to do some research. I want to provide content that you will find interesting and engaging, so I’m asking for your input. What would you specifically like to see more of? What media and genres are you most interested in?
Would you like to learn more about Victorian architecture, or yurts? Would you like to take better vacation pictures, or selfies? Would you like to paint rocks, or portraits?
Would you like to learn how to make kites? How to organize your sewing supplies? How to write a book proposal? How to write a song?
What are your creative dreams? Do you hope to win an Oscar for best actor? Be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Enter a quilt show? Become a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art?
How can I help you achieve your goals and dreams? Let me know.
Now it’s your turn. I challenge you to ask me at least one question about the arts or the creative process. Or suggest a topic for a future blog post on ARHtistic License. Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Creativity is such an ethereal property that mere mortals can’t possess it.
I think almost everyone is creative, or has the potential to be. It takes a certain sense of bravery, of not caring what other people think, to come up with a new idea.
If you try something that doesn’t work, you’ve failed.
Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” He also said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
The lesson? Don’t give up. Perseverance is a necessary quality for a creative. So, get back to work.
You have to be in the mood to create. The muse must be present to inspire you.
Sorry. The muse is a myth. However, if you need one, by all means, conjure one up. (It’s called imagination, people.)
The problem with relying on a creative mood is that they’re generally rare. If that weren’t true, people wouldn’t be wasting so much time with meaningless diddling on their phones.
And the muse is a fickle twitch. She moves on way too quickly.
So you’re going to have to work when you’re uninspired, or you’d never work. You can manufacture your own inspiration by examining things others have created, particularly items not part of your own sphere of expertise. Stuck on your novel? Go read a biography. Watch a musical. Visit the folk art museum. Then sit down and do something, even if it’s a sketch of something that could never be built. Exercise those creative muscles, and a viable creation will eventually result.
There are no new ideas. Everything has already been done.
I own a book called 20 Master Plots by Ronald B. Tobias. It’s similar to The 36 Dramatic Situations by Georges Polti. The premise is that there are only so many stories (some other counts are as low as 4 or as high as 1,462), and you can only write a variant of something that’s been written before.
That may be true to a certain extent. How often have you read something and thought, This is just like the XYZ book. When authors submit manuscripts to agents or publishers, they are asked what books currently on the market are like theirs.
So, yeah. It’s hard to come up with an idea that is completely original. You know that scene in The Hunger Games when Katniss lays flowers all around Rue’s corpse? I wrote a scene like that in The Unicornologist—in the late 90s, ten years before The Hunger Games book came out. My book isn’t published yet—how many people will think I copied that scene? Yep, all of them. So I’ve either got to rewrite that scene, or be criticized for being derivative.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of books and songs and sculptures and plays that are similar, but uniquely different. The creators torqued an original twist on a familiar theme and expanded it into something delightful. That is creativity. Hey, the advertising industry tries to make us believe that a laundry detergent is new and improved. That’s right—laundry soap.
Now it’s your turn.
What misconceptions have you heard about the nature of creativity? What convinced you they were false? Share in the comments below.
Inspiring works of art and clever diversions.
- Artistic justice for cell phone abusers.
- My husband’s beard and mustache look like #11’s. Most of the rest of these prize winners are too bizarre for me.
- John Lennon in photographs.
- We had a hail storm here (Phoenix area) on Monday, which is the closest I’ve come to snow in years. However, this nostalgic article about a snow activity resonated with me.
- Travel to Rome.
- I truly enjoy following this creative person on Instagram. She quilts, embroiders, draws, tangles, and makes her own rubber stamps.
- Inspired by yellow.
- Things I didn’t know about Louisa May Alcott.
- Awesome Christmas GIFs.
- Visiting the Egyptian exhibit at the Met with an artist.
- It’s a String Thing was a weekly Zentangle challenge for six years. It’s no longer active, and I miss it. Here is one of the last challenges.
- A bride wonders how Erasmus got hold of her wedding ring.