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When-Artists-Own-Creativity

When Artists Own Creativity

Last Friday I found myself in a room filled with creatives and artists. These were some of the best Dallas had to offer – all meeting together to brainstorm a project.

We sat bunched in groups at separate tables. We all fired our best ideas onto a sheet of paper that our table representative presented to the whole room. It was free-flowing, free-thinking, and fun. At least…it was supposed to be.

Unfortunately these very free-flowing, free-thinking, and fun artists were anything but that. Especially at my table. Many were smug, dismissive, and unwilling to hear other people’s ideas. These artists were shutting others down. They were only pursuing their own ideas. They were pretending like they owned creativity and all the best ideas.

The tragic thing was that this was a room full of creative geniuses. I actually knew some of the names and what these people could offer. But the artists at my table either didn’t care or didn’t find out. The only time the folks at my table bothered to listen was when I told them who some of the brilliant people were. “Don’t you know who that is? You should listen to them.”

So, consequently, some amazing ideas never got heard. The best stuff didn’t prevail in this room. The project was ultimately hurt by the very creatives that were there to help it.

Don’t you worry, I got some great ideas for #Echo13. I listened to every idea and allowed it to spark new ones.

But the others at my table didn’t get any benefit from the day. It’s something to be pitied. But unfortunately, so many of us artists act that same way. Sure, we’ll listen to brilliance when we recognize it. But there’s so much unrecognized brilliance that passes us by when we choose not to embrace new ideas that aren’t our own.

I don’t want that to describe me. I want to be opened to new things. Do you?

[Photo Credit]

6 Comments

  • Aidan Says

    True.

    Creativity should never ‘grow up’, it should always be maturing into something that’s ever more confident to explore and more open to new ideas. When our ‘creativity’ becomes closed it’s no longer creativity but a rigid, stagnant way of doing things.

    Success can trick us in to risk aversion and over-protectiveness.

  • Aidan Says

    True.

    Creativity should never ‘grow up’, it should always be maturing into something that’s ever more confident to explore and more open to new ideas. When our ‘creativity’ becomes closed it’s no longer creativity but a rigid, stagnant way of doing things.

    Success can trick us in to risk aversion and over-protectiveness.

  • Teresa Says

    I think we can all relate, at least in some small way. We’ve either witnessed a great idea be shut out, had an idea of our own shut out, or realized too late that we shut someone else out. However, as a creative who has worked at two churches with a communications department still in its infancy (and ones made up of only yours truly), it’s been very easy to impress those with whom I work. Receiving accolades fairly easily earned, I have to be really careful not to shut out my own possibly more creative, daring, envelope-pushing ideas. Thanks for the reminder to be open — no matter who else is (or isn’t) at your table.

  • Teresa Says

    I think we can all relate, at least in some small way. We’ve either witnessed a great idea be shut out, had an idea of our own shut out, or realized too late that we shut someone else out. However, as a creative who has worked at two churches with a communications department still in its infancy (and ones made up of only yours truly), it’s been very easy to impress those with whom I work. Receiving accolades fairly easily earned, I have to be really careful not to shut out my own possibly more creative, daring, envelope-pushing ideas. Thanks for the reminder to be open — no matter who else is (or isn’t) at your table.

  • That’s horrible to hear. Certainly a wak-up call here on being humble artists. I certainly don’t want people to think I “own” creativity like I own a car or house. When we share, we care (as corny but truthful as that sounds).

  • That’s horrible to hear. Certainly a wak-up call here on being humble artists. I certainly don’t want people to think I “own” creativity like I own a car or house. When we share, we care (as corny but truthful as that sounds).

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