In his book, The
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
In the next phase of Morris's
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.
"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.
ways to be creative
Over on his excellent gapingvoid blog, Hugh Macleod has a growing article on the subject of creativity. NEW 1-2