Creativity???

In creativity news, my drawing of the cranes on a windy day is going to be published in the Willow Creek Journal, the literary/art magazine from the Creede Arts Council. I needed this little “pat on the head.” 🙂

Sandhill Cranes on a Windy Day


I still think of turning the drawing into a painting and I probably will since all that can happen is it doesn’t work which is really not such a big deal.

Creativity is strange. I’ve had the word slung at me as a compliment and as an insult. Some of the people I’ve worked with it were convinced that creative people are unreliable, not quite right in the head. Other people have admired my talent (which is just that, talent, not genius) way more than it deserves. Talent is nothing if it’s not honed and developed. It’s like being born beautiful, an accident of genetics. Talent does not equal creativity.

People like Vincent Van Gogh haven’t done us any favors. 😉 The idea that BESIDES being (probably) bipolar, Van Gogh was also a hardworking, disciplined artist just hasn’t gotten through the hype of madness. So much effort and attention has gone into posthumously appreciating and understanding Van Gogh and truly, I think he might be past caring but there we are. Looking at art through time — all of it — I see imagination, discipline, and necessity. I will always (mildly) wonder what kind of artist he would have been if people had bought his paintings. I think it might have been the best thing for his work (not him) that people didn’t.

Goethe — who was pretty creative — shared that idea, that as a writer he might have been better if it had not been for the meteoric popularity of Sorrows of Young Werther. That book — and its sad story and tragic fallout — followed him most of his life. He even tried running away from it, incognito, to Italy.

For me, Federico Fellini defined creativity best.

“I hate logical plans. I have a horror of set phrases that instead of expressing reality tame it in order to use it in a way that claims to be for the general good but in fact is no use to anyone.

I don’t approve of definitions or labels. Labels should go on suitcases, nowhere else.

Myself, I should find it falls and dangerous to start from some clear, well defined, complete idea and then put it into practice. I must be ignorant of what I shall be doing and I can find the resources I need only when I am plunged into obscurity and ignorance. The child is in darkness at the moment he is formed in his mother’s womb.


Essentially, to me, creativity is this; “Here you are. This is what you have. What are you going to do with it?” A person doesn’t have to be an artist to creatively engage with that question and solve that problem.


Featured photo: Me getting ready to go meet a friend at Bassam’s Coffee House in downtown San Diego, afterwards we’d go to Cafe Sevilla, October 31, 1993, the very day Fellini died.

9 thoughts on “Creativity???

  1. I’m glad you got your pat on the head — you’ve portrayed a windy day so well. 🙂
    Creativity is indeed a puzzle. Friend or foe? Like Frederico, I resist plans, schedules, systems. I’ve struggled all my life to referee the clash esbetween stick-to-it order and the spontaneity of creativity.

  2. Yay!! I do hope you make it a painting! The only think missing is the sound track of their flight. I agree that talent is good but the hard work required is what takes it from a proclivity to a skill. Creativity is likewise dormant until it is exercised to make it robust enough to chart new paths!!

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