Sunday, January 15, 2006

Deep Enough

A couple of days ago, a person who is (on any other day) one of my favourite people in the world, an ex boyfriend of mine with similar in strength - yet completely different in focus - intellectual, sociological and philosophical concerns as myself, expressed a truly radical opinion about creation, referring specifically to creative computer programmes and the like.

He said, and he was quite ludicrously wrong the way he expressed it, that he himself can do anything anyone else can, given the same computer programme and the internet, with all its tutorials and help files. What he was trying to say was that, well, all computer programmes speak the same "language", they have buttons and controls that perform various functions, and if you know what you want to do and the programme is capable of doing it, it's only a matter of time before you understand the specifics of the programme's function in order to produce the required results.

Of course, when he said so, I was shocked and offended, just as everyone else (most of "everyone else" being more creative people than I). It sounded as if he was trying to say that creativity is "worthless", that it's just a skill or a craft, that artists in any computer-related medium do nothing but use a programme, in the same way that an accountant uses a programme to do his job. And obviously many of us were hasty in producing examples of awesome digital art which we believe nobody could do "just to prove a point". And, the way we saw it, we were mostly right.

Nobody can do something exemplary "just for the effect". Nobody can learn a skill or craft that will inspire others, unless it's a priority or a dream of theirs to do so, unless they have reasons to pursue such a feat. But yes, anyone who spends the time necessary, anyone who invests the required effort into learning a programme - or any craft for that matter - will eventually master it; often faster and better than they initially imagine.

Yet that's not all. In order to be truly exemplary, an artist instead of a craftsman, one has to go deep enough. Deep enough into one's chosen craft or art, and deep enough into one's soul. And when one does, and produces something spattered with droplets of one's heart, and shares it with the world, only then is one truly exemplary.

1 comment:

Atalante said...

I remember this post. I replied with a small paragraph of concentrated truth. ;P