By Jane Bauer
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. Steve Jobs
Opposable thumbs and creativity with critical thought are what separate humans from the rest of the herd of sentient beings. Our need to capture, whether in painting, sculpture, music or with words, what I think of as the ‘in-between’ thoughts. The whispers of magic in between trips to the grocery store and Netflix. When everything slows down and you notice the subtleties of the way someone walks across the street and you see the something bigger in that moment – something universal about what it is to be human.
The painter who notices the color of drying leaves and the way the wind sways the branches and manages to capture that movement- making a moment immortal. The musician who hears a song in the rain – has hearing that can distinguish notes in the pitter-patter of drops on a tin roof and translate it, so that those of us without this gift can hear it too. The writer who explains something you have felt or done but had no way of describing.
The busyness of the world has made it more difficult; we are constantly bombarded with images and noises – distractions that cut through the silence that the mind needs to tap into those morsels of truth – for it is that creativity that tells the truth of our collective experience.
I love those late-night dinner-party discussions about what constitutes art. Is it for the observer or the creator to define? Does it need to have a message or can it just be pretty? Is a message enough to make art? I remember the controversy surrounding the National Gallery of Canada’s acquisition of ‘Voice of Fire’ in 1990 for a staggering $1.8 million.
As Steve Jobs said ‘creativity is just connecting things’. I think as long as we are talking, discussing, analyzing what something is or isn’t – then it has accomplished the goal of provoking feeling and dialogue.
See you next month,