January 7, 2009

Inspiring Creativity

I'm feeling a bit of creative drag these days. Maybe it's because I am immersing myself more in the dissertation, maybe I'm just tired after the holiday hoopla - either way, I'm not really feeling it very much right now. But it amazes me how different my fount of creativity is from Lara's - how for her, there is no need to define a motive for making beyond what strikes the fancy at any given moment.

Painting with Lara

I love learning through her the evolution of our most basic drives. The need to make seems completely universal. It is fascinating that it is such a primal drive, that it is in fact not necessity that is the mother of invention as the proverb would have it, but that instead invention precedes need, purpose, goal, and exists most primordially as a force that propels play and exploration. "Mommy, see what I made?" Lara asks frequently, holding up with equal pride a couple of stuck together legos, some complex project from daycare, a toy arrangement, or pointing to one of her artworks that we hung on the wall. Yes, my love, I do see what you made. And I know exactly the deeply warm satisfaction of looking at it that you feel - after all, isn't that what this blog is, me asking all of you to "see what I made"? I am so happy you already get to have that feeling.

January 7 - 1

From the first, creativity is also interpretation. "I'm a Mummer too! Now I'm going to dance," accompanied this ensemble during the parade on New Year's Day when it was too cold to see the regalia'ed men in person and we instead happily watched it on TV. Headband, sash, bracelet, sometimes a cape, sometimes fancy shoes - creative recasting of the self into ephemeral roles without purpose or order, just as a way to try the whims of the imagination on for size.

I wonder if that kind of creativity can be recaptured or approximated. I'm not sure I could do it. You?


Jay said...

I know I can't do it because I am way too self-conscious. I don't ever remember being un-self-conscious in the way my daughter is; I can recall dance class at age 4 and I was already policing myself. Sigh.

btw your word verification is "plumpo". I am not amused.

Anna said...

oh no, Jay! i thought they were supposed to just be a jumble of letters and numbers! stupid blogger.

and i hear you about self-consciousness - i can't work out because of how self-aware i am of my awkward uncoordinated self. even video workouts. even when i am totally alone in the house with the shades drawn. yeah, i know.

Jay said...

Well, they do say if you leave a hundred monkeys in a room with a hundred typewriters (not that you could find a hundred typewrites anymore, or get approval from the IRB).

I should have added a :-) I was, actually, amused.

The current one is sohasms, which sounds like it should be a word. A dirty word.

Amy said...

I think about this when I see the work the teenagers do at the teen classes at the Glass Center where I take classes. They are not as young as Lara, but they are much "freer" than I am. Of course, at their age I wasn't as free as they are either. Like Jay, I was policing myself pretty darn young. But I'm working on it now. Ironically it's getting harder in some ways as I get technically better. I feel like I "should" be able to make something useful/specific/to a certain standard now. It's harder to just have that joy in being able to make something--anything--that I had when first I started and no one (most especially *me*) had any expectations. Today I spent a couple of hours at the torch and it was actually pretty good--promised myself I could just make twisty rods because they are pretty....and then anything else I felt like. But many times I feel like I have to go in with a plan to make "something." Thanks for the post--it helped put into words something I've obviously been thinking about.