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Creative minds are increasingly turning to nature—banyan tree leaves, butterfly wings to fly during the day) before turning to Bob Robbins, a research entomologist. . For years researchers have focused on the chemistry of flame retardants.
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Not all art is entertaining, and certainly not all entertainment is art. No, equating art with entertainment will not do. And art is not to be utilitarian.
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Art is something else entirely. Again, art is revelatory. So the question is, What does art reveal? Well, I think we can safely say that art reveals something about the artist. The music composed by, say, Handel or Bach reveals men who had, on the whole, a joyful and positive outlook on life. Their music reflects this joy in its selection of tempo, key, and combination of instruments. On the other hand, the works of Mahler are much more melancholic.
By that I mean they are very dark, very black tunes. We can therefore surmise, with some degree of correctness, that Handel and Bach were, on the whole, positive, joyful men, while Mahler walked through life in a state of depression. For Bach and Handel, their positive outlook can be attributed, at least in part, to their religion, an external influence in their lives.
For Mahler, his darkness came from within. Mahler suffered as Jew during times of anti-Semitism during the latter years of the nineteenth and the early part of the twentieth centuries.
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Mahler did not marry until later in his life at age His wife, Alma Schindler, was also a musician and composer. But Mahler forbade Alma from creating music. Her place, said Mahler, was to tend to his needs. Perhaps it was because of his denial of her artistic calling Alma took up with a lover after only a few years of their marriage. Mahler and his wife had two daughters, one of whom died at the too-young age of four. The same year his daughter died, Mahler was diagnosed with heart disease and was told to limit his movements as much as possible in order to prolong his life.
In he left Europe to take the regal position as director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York, only to be let go the following year. You can begin to see what I mean by Mahler leading a depressing life. When Mahler did succumb to an illness and died in , he was buried, according to his wishes, in a silent graveside ceremony.
Thus, art is revelatory. But true creativity leads to a revelation of something more important, something greater than the nature of the artist. Creativity leads to art that reveals the nature of the Creator Himself. Now, I am not a very religious person myself. And I do not claim to be qualified to teach on matters of religion. But please allow me to venture, not into the realm of religion, but into an attempt to discuss the nature of the Creator. If we are to accept what I have set forth already—that is, that art is a vocation, something done to us, as in a spell that is cast upon us, becoming endowed with supernatural powers—then we must accept that there is a Force beyond the scope of our knowledge issuing the vocational call.
We can call this Force by many names, but for this talk I chose to refer to the Force as the Creator. And I will use the masculine pronoun out of convenience. So the question remaining for us to answer is this: What role does the artist play in revealing the nature of the Creator, if the Creator is the one who endows the artist with the power to create? If the artist, in his own power, attempts to show some characteristic of the Creator, it almost always turns out wrong. Think of paintings done by artists during the middle ages, the time before the Renaissance when the Catholic Church wielded their greatest influence.
Paintings of Madonna and Child often tried to show a baby with greater powers than an infant naturally has: In trying to show the divinity of the Christ Child, the artist misses entirely the human nature of the Christ. Perhaps that picture does not help you understand what I am trying to say. Let us look at another example, again a picture, but this time a moving picture.
Again, however, we encounter difficulties with a creative work that tries within the limited scope of the artist to reflect the true nature of the Creator. For instance, how many who watched this miniseries were convinced that Jesus, the real Jesus, was blue-eyed and fair-skinned? How many viewers were distracted by thinking back on Mr. I say no, it is not. First of all, we run into cultural and ethnic difficulties almost from the start. He does not resemble a man from the Middle East; thus those who are from Israel, Egypt or any other country in the region where Jesus was thought to have lived will immediately be put off by this and most likely will not receive what the artist—in this case, Zeffirelli—is trying to get across.
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We never see Jesus—well, we see him briefly from behind, and we see his hands: Ben Hur is, at least to me, a much more powerful picture of Jesus, even though we do not see Jesus directly. Art does not need to shine a light directly at the Creator. As a matter of course, it cannot. This Force or Creator we are speaking of is the genesis of light.
Just as the moon does not create light but merely reflects what the Sun in its nature extends, so art does not create the reflection of the Creator. Art is like the moon—it reflects light extended to it by the Creator. My purpose today is to talk you out of becoming an artist. But I wanted you to get an idea of what art is and is not meant to be. Now that I have muddied up the room, let me attempt to get back on our path. Creativity is a fire. Not a small flame on the head of a candle, but a roaring fire, such as the bonfire you all had last Friday before your football game Saturday afternoon.
By the way, congratulations on your fine win. I believe that puts you into the championship game, does it not? Think of the flames that shot up as the bonfire was lit. In almost no time at all the entire pile of wood that was assembled was engulfed in these flames. Now, imagine if you were to have released the hand of your boyfriend or girlfriend, drawn near to the fire, and stepped right into it.
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What would have happened? You would never be the same again. Most likely you would have died, but even if you had lived you would bear the scares of that fire. Creativity works in just the same way. In order to be an artist who is capable of reflecting the nature of the Creator, you will have to be changed, changed in a permanent scarring fashion. Let me give you a few examples of those who passed through the flame of creativity.
Ernest Hemingway is perhaps the greatest influence on several generations of writers. Salinger corresponded with Hemingway and was shaped by his responses. Douglas Coupland, who named you Generation X, said no one influenced his writing more than Hemingway. Hemingway was incredibly talented as a writer, whether as a wartime newspaper reporter, short story writer or novelist. His compact sentences wring more value per word than perhaps any other writer in any language. It is not exaggeration to say Hemingway was one of the greatest writers in the English language.
He had walked through the flame of creativity. And what were the consequences of that commitment? Hemingway became an alcoholic early in life. He blamed his learning to love the drink when he was laid up in a hospital in France recovering from severe wounds he received as an ambulance driver and correspondent during World War I. His drinking became an anchor he wore throughout his life. While in that same hospital Hemingway met a nurse who at first promised to return to America with Hemingway, but then fell for an Italian officer and left with him instead.
Hemmingway proceeded to fumble his way through four mostly unhappy marriages in his life. He was, obviously, very difficult to get along with, not only with his wives, but with his friends as well. Further accidents and illnesses contributed to Hemingway becoming severely depressed, so much so that in July of he stood in his home in Idaho, leaned his forehead just above his eyes against the barrels of a shotgun, and pulled both triggers. Hemingway, the incredibly talented writer, was permanently afflicted by his talent, lived a contentious life and suffered a horrible death—the consequences, I believe, of walking through the burning flame of creativity.
Shall we look at another? Jimi Hendrix is someone most of you can remember. And I know I may seem a bit old to even know who Hendrix was, [Van Lorn was 71 at the time of this talk], but, and I know you may choose not to believe this, I have all of his albums and listen to them often.
Call it one of the things that makes me, um, unique. By the way, Hendrix is a good example of someone receiving artistic talent as a grace. He only earned one failing grade in high school. Can you guess what class that was in? He learned to play the guitar by first running a piece of string the length of a broomstick and strumming that. Then his father found a one-stringed ukulele and Hendrix taught himself several songs on that. Finally at age 15 he scraped together five dollars and bought a secondhand acoustic guitar.
Suffice it to say that there never has been, nor ever will be, a guitarist like Hendrix. Jimm Lasser Creative Director: Luke Sacherman Art Director: Rick Jacques Associate Producer: Lisa Delonay Senior Producer: Alison Hill Account Team: Brandon Pracht Account Team: Toby Hussey Account Team: Katie Hoak Account Team: Kerry OConnell Project Manager: Cory Chonko Digital Strategist: Tom Gibby Head of Production: Rick Jacques Art Producer: Ali Berk Business Affairs: Justine Lowe Business Affairs: Sara Jagielski Executive Producer: Michael Sagol Executive Producer: Kim Dellara Line Producer: If not, then, is there a reason?
That will not be still. I replaced the nail with a spike and went on writing. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children. Read what you want to read, not what someone tells you you should read. Just get people to stop reading them. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. There is no Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of the Buried Bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: Writer, teacher, and head custodian of the Skinny Artist community.
His book "Getting Creative: Developing Creative Habits that Work" is all about finding the time and energy to live a more creative life. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Did you read my blog? Because this is SO what I needed, and wrote about last week. There are SO many great quotes here — tough to digest at one time!
Definitely will be re-visiting.
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It was either that or come up with some way cool post-it note flipbook. Most of these quotes have been a part of life for as long as I can remember. I remember collecting the ones from Thoreau, Kerouac, and Emerson back in high school. The poets, writers, and artists came later in college and this list continued to grow. Thanks for stopping by Jason, you really have some amazing stone sculptures on your site. Hope to hear from you again soon! I love these quotes. Two of my favourites are: Just discovered your blog.
As a blogger myself too, I am digging your content because blogging is quite a creative activity or at least I find it so. Love those quotes and, sometimes, when I am in need of inspiration, I try to read around for a source of creativity. In fact, I was contemplating writing a new article and I was looking for creative quotes on Google hence I found your blog! I enjoy this quote the most. The ablitiy of having the idea or talent at that moment but finding that inner adventurer to follow through. This was something I needed to read. Each of us has, somewhere in his heart, the dream to make a living world, a universe.
Indeed it turns out, in the end, that what this method does is simply free us from all method. Thanks for sharing it! Write about your family, write about the talking whale! Thanks Rachel for sharing the quote. I always wondered what that was thrashing about in my imagination. Hey, Skinny Artist, i love your quotes! Just the words i was hunting on the tip of my tongue and back of my brain, popping out all fresh newborn to connect me in to the wisdom of ages. Thanks for stopping by Aileen! That quote from Dr. Seuss is a favorite of mine among many!
Thank you so much Thespoena for stopping by and sharing your favorite with us. Thanks Jimmy for your kind words I really appreciate it. We keep adding new quotes on a regular basis to so be sure to stop back by and see us! Thanks Erman, I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. Thank you Bethany for your kind words and I really appreciate you taking the time to share this quote with us: Unfortunately I think I have one of those personalities that I probably would end up reading it over again.
Not necessarily to edit out the parts I would rather forget, but rather to enjoy those things that I want to always remember and scribble notes in the margins ;. Love the quotes been having what I call reading sessions Some really inspiring ones and others give plenty of food for thought!
Awesome job and wish you all the best. Plz check my website at http: Really enjoyed laying in bed reading those quotes after my nightshift. A favourite of my wife and I.. I re-posted one of your quotes on my blog… http: I am so very new to all of it. Between daily responsibilities and promoting my art, I am struggling to find time for my art and getting very frustrated.
The quotes on faith and on work really resongated with me. I just stumbled across this page and really enjoyed it. I look forward to reading more from you. In the words of Jack Kerouac: I just cannot decide if to share this web site with my friends or keep it as my own private secret…. There are so many wonderful quotes here, thank you so much for sharing! The one by Iva Glass has reminded me to keep going at it! I have compiled a whole anthology — about pages — of quotes, although mine is spiritual in nature, and I have acquired them the same way that you acquired yours.
God is so vastly wonderful, so utterly and completely delightful that He can, without anything other than Himself, meet and overflow the deepest demands of our total nature, mysterious and deep as that nature is. Your quotes are truly beautiful. I have book marked this page and will be visiting often.
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Hi Isobelle, Would you be willing to share your page anthology? Do you have it published online anywhere? Sounds wonderful, one for every day! Thanks so much for this Drew! I include the link to this website weekly. Incredible, inspiring, touching and beautiful page. A beautiful compilation of inspiring thoughts. Thanks Ryan for stopping by and also for your kind words. That is a great quote. I think that quote is attributed to Abraham Lincoln, although it hard to tell because these days it seems that pretty much every quote on the internet is either said by Lincoln or Benjamin Franklin whether they actually said it or not ;.
I love quotes too. I have collected many of the same ones you have and for the same reasons. I think it works for all types of creativity though. I am a watercolour artist and it works for us too. These quotes are awesome and mind changing and inspiring. This puts 1 to the test. I have learnt that , its better to try and fail than to fail to try.. OMG I cannot tell you how grateful I am for this information. To find powerful quotes is one thing; to have them broken into categories…amazing!!! I am really amazed to find such a fantabulous collection of qoutes.
You keep up this noble job man. Thank you for compiling all these! I start getting fired up just reading them! I love it all, thanks for the inspiring quotes keep up the goodwork!! Want to read new more quotes soon: Thanks Drew for that collection! Your quote were amazing and touching. I could use them as reminder for my everyday life because I am an artist.
Being an artist is such a roller coaster of ups and downs and it is so helpful to hear the words of others who have jumped on the ride.