An ongoing collection of thoughts and ideas on creativity.

Monkeying Around

In his book, The Biology of Art Desmond Morris reports the results of an experiment in which chimps were  given some art materials. The chimps immediately began to paint in a style reminiscent of modern art. They so loved their artistic endeavors that they started to loose interest in eating, sex and many of the other activities that had once taken up thier days.  In short the chimps became totally engrossed in creating something.

In the next phase of Morris's experiment he rewarded the chimps for their paintings. Very soon their work started to go down hill and eventually they just produced the bare minimum that would satisfy the experimenter and get their reward.

Maybe genuine creativity is held back when we do what we think others want us to do, or if we just do it for reward.

Talk is Cheap

"To those of you who will begin, as I did, at an early age to be interested in creative effort, I have a word or two to say: Follow no one. Only you can lead yourself. Be open-minded and ready to reject every extraneous influence. Use your own. Talk is cheap; let others talk. Pay no attention to them or to me. Shun them and me with your self-discipline. Value your freedom from the shackles of the strait jacket. A rose is a rose regardless of its position on the bush. Approach your line of activity as an individual. Be independent. There is but one law to obey, the law of freedom: and obedience to that law is liberty."

Samuel Aiwaz Jacobs - Books for Our Time, Marshall Lee, New York: Oxford University Press, 1951.

Is creativity enough

Mike Johnston's great article Secrets of Success has creativity at number five in order of importance of what it takes to "succeed" as a photographer. Please try and make a donation to Mike if you go and read this very useful piece.

Thirty, and growing, ways to be creative

Over on his excellent gapingvoid blog, Hugh Macleod
has a growing  article on the subject of creativity. NEW 1-2