Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Standing still and creativity

Pascal wrote in an email today:
"The creative mind hates standing still". (just made that up)

Pretty good. It is quite true, and is often a source of tension between an artist an the market/his audience. Because what the audience really want is to experience again what gave them pleasure in the first place.
But many artists get bored doing what they have already done once, they want to do something new. And the public might not like the new thing, so he gets angry.
Also the art dealer or other middle-man wants something predictable, otherwise it threatens his business.

Also, "to experience again what gave them pleasure in the first place" is of course not possible, since it already happened once, and if it's exactly the same, they'll normally be bored. So the challenge of "sequels" and series is to do the same, and yet something fresh. Not easy!


Talking about creativity, today I've gotten no entries at all in the BW Portrait photo competition... so your chances may be better than you think, and well, it's just for fun, go on.


Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Actually, I've realized I had a "restless mind syndrome". One thing overachiever me is hopelessly incapable of (yes! believe it!), is being genuinely bored. Idleness always starts me thinking in countless unpredictable directions.
This is how I realized that I really wasn't meant to attend Church. I was never "in the spirit", and kept daydreaming about totally un-church-related stuff.
(No, not THAT! Take your mind out of the gutter for a second, will you?)
So, it made me realize that this reflex boredom of the intended activity revealed my lack of "convertedness", no matter how hard I tried to stay focused.

Ah well, I never have that problem during sex, so there's a comforting thought.
(Hey, where did this gutter come from? I swear, it wasn't there a secong ago!)

Alex said...

I think the Coen Bros are an example of how an artist can change pace and style and through laws of statistical averages do well.

Their films bounce all over the place from fairly straight, tense dramas, like Barton Fink and Blood Simple, through comedy romances like Oh Brother, Hudsucker and Fargo, to slapstick farce like Raising Arizona and The Ladykillers.

If you found 100 Coen Bros fans and asked which ones are their favourites, you'd probably find an even distribution. (oh, that's right, they work outside the studio thing, don't they).

Didn't Dexy's Midnight Runners change format dramatically with every album too?

Sure, with antics like this you don't become an Alfred Hitchcock or an Agatha Christie, but you can keep the money coming in and have variety.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

Indeed, there are the rare genius who can beat the system. Picasso or David Bowie, for example.

Amongst writers it's harder to think of good examples, although Iain Banks does at least three genres well, SF, main stream, and quirky fantasy.