The Curse Of Creativity

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Pigfarmer Jr
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The Curse Of Creativity

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Warning: Jordan Peterson video. You may want to avoid if you know who he is.

Some interesting view points on creativity. I'm not saying I agree with everything he said, but it's interesting to think about.


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Re: The Curse Of Creativity

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

"Find a job for your mind and body and partition off some time for your creative path". Yeah, pretty much! Thanks for the share.
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Re: The Curse Of Creativity

Post by crumpart »

I’m one of those who won’t watch any Jordan Peterson. Anyone got a rundown for me?
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Re: The Curse Of Creativity

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Fri May 15, 2020 5:40 am
"Find a job for your mind and body and partition off some time for your creative path".
It's what I do, but it's actually the opposite of the advice I hear for songwriters trying to "make it" in popular music fields. Something like, "if you have a plan B you will fail."
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Re: The Curse Of Creativity

Post by jast »

I'm not a huge fan of Peterson - I think he uses way too many convoluted sentences to make his ideas sound fancier than they are.

Anyway, I watched it, and the whole thing is about trying to turn creativity into a career, not about creativity as such - even if he takes several minutes to get to the point where that becomes kind of clear. He never outright says, "I'm talking about creativity as a path to riches and fame, not about creativity in general", but that's what this is about.

Of course, there are many, many things you can get creative about that don't force you into trying to turn them into a gazillion-bucks idea. I almost think he believes this to be too much of a balancing act to actually be viable, but I guess many of us know better. To be fair, his idea of creative people may be a bit non-representative if, as he says, he talks to a lot of students of the arts. I bet many of those have committed, on some level, to a creative career.

The key point: a creative career is high risk, high reward, and it's much safer to get a more traditional job to bring home the bacon and do your creative stuff on the side.
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Re: The Curse Of Creativity

Post by jast »

My own take on the subject, split off into a separate post for better readability, has more of a focus on "maintaining" creativity in general.

I think the true curse of creativity is what happens if you paint yourself into a corner where you feel pressured to be creative (or to be creative in a different way than you currently are), a.k.a. the reason so many successful artists take to drugs/alcohol, hoping that it will help them let go of, or power through, the pressure (and maybe the conflict between what they want to explore and what the market expects of them, which neatly ties back into what Peterson talks about).

Trying to control creativity is often doomed to failure because it's not exactly possible, and if you keep at it anyway, eventually that creativity will seem to dry up - you condition yourself to feel bad about your ideas, and then of course you'll automatically gravitate towards no longer getting ideas in order to avoid feeling bad, but that just creates new bad feelings because you still want those better ideas, but nothing is happening, which reinforces the conditioning, and so on.

The only thing that really works is more of an "influencing" creativity, where you are able to appreciate your ideas even if they're not exactly what you can use right now, and where you explore the general area around each idea to see if you can't find a modification, or a mixture of ideas, that will sort of start to overlap with your goals.
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Re: The Curse Of Creativity

Post by crumpart »

Thanks for the rundown @jast!

This is more about creativity in general than the specific video topic, but I think I’ve been in the creativity business so long now that I don’t really understand how to not be generally creative. Even if I’m doing a non-creative job, my brain will work away at creative problems in the background. One of my challenges, as laid out to me by my MFA adviser, was that I needed to reel it in a bit if I wanted to actually engage with an audience. I’d always try to push past ideas that seemed blatantly obvious to me, but that apparently were not remotely obvious to everyone else. I was a little annoyed and incredulous about that feedback at the time, but over the years I’ve tried hard to do that and realised she was right.

The algorithm handed me this excellent video on creativity from Adam Neely (who is a jazz bassist and has an excellent channel in general) this morning.

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Re: The Curse Of Creativity

Post by Chumpy »

crumpart wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 6:10 am
The algorithm handed me this excellent video on creativity from Adam Neely (who is a jazz bassist and has an excellent channel in general) this morning.
Thanks for posting Crumpart, I really enjoyed that. "The absence of limitations is the enemy of art." is a great quote.
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Re: The Curse Of Creativity

Post by jb »

That video is awesome, thanks so much for sharing it.

Restriction as a means to unlocking creativity is the reason Song Fight exists.

A blank daw session is that Main Street.
A title is that house.
An optional challenge can be the brick.
The Fight deadline is the assignment.

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Re: The Curse Of Creativity

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

jast wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 4:35 am
Anyway, I watched it, and the whole thing is about trying to turn creativity into a career, not about creativity as such... He never outright says, "I'm talking about creativity as a path to riches and fame, not about creativity in general", but that's what this is about.
I'll disagree with you slightly. He's talking about making a living or being successful. Creativity is just one aspect and is the subject of this particular talk. It *might* be semantics, but he's not approaching the subject of how to maintain creativity by making money at it. (Also he briefly mentions some of the other benefits of creativity.)

So, you're correct in his angle but not his goal. He's absolutely correct when he says a small percentage of truly creative people make it big (real big) and THAT is why he suggests to maintain creativity but not depend on it as your mode of survival. Which isn't a bad point at all, imo. But probably not the answer for everyone.
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