25 February 2012


Lightbulb moments on a trip to Brighton last year
I seem to have been to a lot of exhibitions over the last few weeks and am still mulling over some of the things I've seen. Thinking too about the line between inspiration and plagiarism. Take my quilt.  The traditional log cabin pattern is well known, but it wasn't until I saw a version in this book, from my local library as it happens, that I knew it would work for the "darker" version I had in mind. That's the wonderful thing about libraries.  Even if authors only get 6p a loan, they're still getting paid for their work and it all mounts up.  Not so with the internet, as Annie and Rattling On noted recently.  And if you get a chance to visit the Picasso in Modern British Art, that might set you thinking too.

Earlier this year, I read an article seeking the views of artists on creative inspiration and what struck me most was how different the responses were.  Around the same time I read and very much enjoyed Jane's set of posts in response to advice on trying to be creative.  Now she's gone a step further.  Visit her blog and take a look at the delightful animation "ten tips for creativity".  Truly inspiring.

Now I need to think again about what might my top tips be?  And what about yours?

PS Annie has a giveaway and she wants you to know.


Rattling On said...

I think all creative people soak up others' ideas and reuse them to some point. It's taking them a step further or the little twists that make life interesting. And also how fashions and styles change, or else we'd never bother! It happens in the scientific sphere as well with research, not just in art.
It's blatant copy and paste-ing that I have a big problem with. I can't understand why someone, for example, would have a blog only to spend time copying. If you don't have any ideas or information of your own then just enjoy reading the tons of original writing out there.
I do have a Pinterest account, and I also know some of my own pictures from the blog are on another person's account but only credited to Google as they didn't bother to drill down into my site.
It's just easy to be lazy I suppose. Have to say I'm considering deleting the Pinterest.

Jane Housham said...

Thank you so much for the link.
I had an idea the other day -- by which I mean an idea for an art thing to try which felt quite fresh and new. I decided to keep it to myself until I'd at least had a go at it, but, alas, it died very prematurely as everything about it proved almost impossible to execute -- tricky materials not doing what I had imagined they would do. So I've shelved it until I have time to go back and try to think round it. Maybe one day it will rise from the ashes...

60 going on 16 said...

Ah creativity . . .thank you for the links to the lists, C.

Because I am now working with people who want to write or to develop their writing, I am always looking at ways of firing creative sparks. In fact, we spend as much time exploring creativity as we do on the writing itself. The people I work with are often amazed - as am I - at the writing they produce spontaneously and in response to an unexpected stimulus.

Music does it for me, especially music combined with words. BBC Radio 3 is full of riches like Words and Music, which I am listening to as I write this. Tonight's programme is 'an exploration of the idea of the middle: neither the promise of beginnings nor the resolution of the end but complexity, fragments and the need to keep on going.' A delight, I never know quite where it will take me.

Late Junction also on Radio 3 has led me on dramatic and exciting musical journeys and from there to my own writing journeys.

And two essentials to be carried at all times or at least whenever possible, a small pocket camera (or mobile phone with halfway decent camera and a small notebook and pen or pencil) - to capture the unusual, the unexpected, the inspirational before it slips from memory.

Learn to look with intensity and to listen with a completely open mind - and an open heart.

Finally, a couple of books that take the subject further: The Gift: How the Creative Spirit Transforms the World by Lewis Hyde and The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp. . .

Annie said...

Is anything really new? I'm never sure. Someone has just published a knitting pattern on Ravelry, not free, that looks remarkably like one of my free ones. A friend pointed it out to me, worried about the plagiarism, but my idea wasn't that original, this person could easily have arrived at the same thing independently.

I do like Jean-Luc Godard's: "It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to."

Thank you for the links to Jane's posts, I'd missed them. And thank you for the mention :D

Liz said...

I'm with Annie, wondering if anything is truly original. Even Steve Jobs said "Good artists copy, great artists steal". Must admit I was a tad peeved to learn that someone copied 10 pages and the whole of the bibliography of my Master's dissertation (a copy of which was in the university's library) the following year but that was because I'd done so much work and the other person was awarded an MSc(later taken away but he still had the certificate)after doing somewhat less.