I have been reading some great books on creativity and agency. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, Seth Godins Linchpin, and watching some inspiring stuff on the ‘Tube such as “Make Good Art,” Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech to University of Arts, Philadelphia students. As artists (and I’m talking to everyone , interior designers, stylists, foodies, textile creatives et al. ) we commonly believe we could do our best work if we had the resources that, say, Kelly Wearstler has at her fingertips. My eyes adore the tableauxs she creates in her client’s interiors sourcing objects in rare materials of marble, gold, lapis lazuli, and quotidian materials of plastic, vinyl, and polycarbonates. Or the resources of Jeff Koons, Or Damien Hirst.
I watched a video on youtube of a 4 year old girl going bananas in her studio in a creative trance/ frenzy creating canvas after canvas and using an absolute shit -tonne of paint in her expressionist style. Regardless of the OHS questions it posed for me I was mesmerised by the carefree abandon with which she created, however, many people had left comments such as “I/ my kid could do that too if I/she had the resources”
I believe that great things can come from working within parameters. If given the freedoms and spending power that the ultra wealthy have do you really believe you could do your best work or would you simply spend? I once was granted a studio at Artspace in Woolloomooloo for 7 months. It was enormous, I was surrounded by talented Sydney artists the likes of Ben Quilty, and Sarah Goffman, and Koji Ryui. What do you think happened given that expanse of time and space and opportunity? I got blocked and produced very little. Now-adays the parameters for writing my blog posts is 45minutes. The parameters for upholstery each day is 6hours. My painting, 2hours.
True creativity is using what you have to explore lateral thinking and alternative uses for things. The brain is a problem solving machine and is a muscle that needs to be used. The frame, the border, the box at every turn so often implored to “think outside of it “ I’m rooting for the opposite.
Henry Darger was a recluse artist and writer who created a whole world within the confines of his small flat out of trash material because he felt he couldn't draw. The result is extraordinary.
What do you think?