I spend a lot of timing thinking about why we create. It seems to be a human trait that we all share. Some of us wear our creativity on our sleeves. Some deny they are creative, but always to their detriment. Creating in your own unique way is one of life's greatest joys.
As I have written before, I am fascinated by other people's way of being creative in the world. It never ceases to amaze me. I wrote about reading books on creativity in an article last April, Does Reading Books on Creativity Make you More Creative?
The short answer is Yes and No. Here is an excerpt:
I am a bit addicted to books on creativity. I have read over 20 books on creativity and have at least 40 more on my to-read list. Now the question is, can reading all these books on creativity make you more creative? Yes and No. Yes, if you take action after reading them. No, if you use the reading of the books to replace actually making stuff. Sometimes I have used the creativity books as a crutch to try to get into the creative flow as I wrote about last week. (This was written last April but the link takes you to the article What is Creative Flow and How Do We Get There?) But it is a false creative flow, in a way, because it is unsustainable. It ends when the books ends. A crutch can be useful to smooth over rough spots in your creative life. It can help fuel the creative fire or give you the courage to tackle a new project.
Now I have turned to documentaries on creativity. One of the best documentary series I have seen lately is produced by Netflix and called Abstract: The Art of Design. This link to the series includes an offer for a free 30 days trial for Netflix. If you don't have Netflix, this might be an option for you to at least see this documentary series. It really is that good. I have watched all 8 episodes in the first series. Some of them multiple times with different family members because I highly recommend it to them and then want to watch it with them. The producers get right to the heart of subject's art and why they create. Why they do what they do. Of course, that is the most interesting part. It is fascinating. The show on the photographer Platon is one of my favorites. He combines his observation skills with his desire to help humanity heal. He tells a story with each photograph. Even as he has photographed some of the most powerful people on the world, he is as humble as anyone could be.
Each one of these documentaries is a stand alone gem. There is one on an architect, an interior designer, a stage director, shoe designer and my other favorite, an illustrator Christoph Niemann who will blow your mind. If you ever thought artists are unorganized and scattered all over the place, (a sterotype to be sure) Niemann shows how his routine and professionalism help him rise to almost unimaginable creative inspiration. You will recognize his work from several The New Yorker magazine covers.
As a visual artist, I often get inspiration from the fashion world. It might seem like a stretch but fashion designers work with color and texture just like me. So I was intrigued by the documentary The First Day of May also on Netflix. It is about the New York Metropolitan Museum of Arts Annual Met Gala.
"The creative process is my meditation."
-John Galliano for Dior in the documentary the First Day in May documentary
I would say most artists would agree with that statement. Creating art in whatever form you create your art is time for full immersion in the world of your making with your art supplies and tools alone with your imagination. Many find solace and refreshment in their art just like those who turn to meditation.
I have offered you fascinating documentaries to help get the creative flow moving. Some of my best ideas come from connections made in the most unbelievable places. Here's to hoping these documentaries may do the same for you.