I took my daughters out for a coffee the other day. Just before we left, Hannah who is age 19 and the older of the two, stepped out of her bedroom looking like a Vogue model. I was charmed that she took time and effort to change before going out for coffee with her old dad.
“I like your outfit, especially the belt”, I said as we got into the car.
“Two dollars in a second-hand shop”, she quipped with a cheeky smile.
That’s one way a second year Art student at AUT demonstrates her creativity to the world – by choosing appropriate clothes to dress smartly on a minimal budget.
Did she have to study Art to express her imagination this way? Certainly not. Anyone can do it if they have a mind to.
But Hannah worked very hard to secure her place in her course at AUT. When she studied Art at High School, she created many different things. Not everything she did was as successful as she’d like it to have been. But she did it all the same. It all contributed to her portfolio – time after time.
- To me, the difference between the artist and the non-artist
is that the artist is the one who does it.
– Helen Garner
If a thing’s worth doing . . .
When my son, Jack, was to be married a few years back, I wrote a waltz in honour of his lovely Irish bride, Ailish. She had told me that she loved dancing to waltzes. As it happened, she liked the tune I wrote for her. I commissioned a local Irish dance band to play at the wedding.
A musician friend of mine who was a member of the band obviously didn’t like my waltz. When the band was rehearsing it under my supervision, he asked me why I composed stuff like this.
I explained that the alternative was that I did nothing at all. Then the bride would not have her own waltz for her wedding day. He quietly picked up his violin and played the music – beautifully.
Creativity has to be nurtured
- Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom, while discouragement often nips it in the bud. Any of us will put out more and better ideas if our efforts are appreciated.
– Alex F Osborn
The connection between Art and creativity is so intimate, it is almost impossible to define a difference between the two. One thing is clear, and that is that creativity has first to exist before Art comes into being. Creativity tends to be the easier to recognise, while identifying Art can often be an elusive and subjective assignment.
Schools have a big part to play in encouraging creativity in learners.
But they are not the only important influences, and this has been demonstrated by the work of some of the world’s greatest artists, many of whom were influenced by factors well beyond the precincts of the school grounds.
The importance of what is within us
The mind inhabits a complex organ. The self has to be nourished from within. Two undoubtedly brilliant artists in two discrete disciplines, who lived their lives in different countries and in separate centuries, had very similar views on what nurtures and brings out creativity from within. Check them out.
- Go cherish your soul;
set your habits to a life of solitude;
then will the faculties rise
fair and full within.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
- When I am . . . completely myself, entirely alone . . . or during the night when I cannot sleep, it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly.
– Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart