Sunday, 26 May 2013

Creativity, Talent and Skill – If you don’t know, have a go!

I could swear I'd done a blog about creativity before?! I really didn't think my mind was that frazzled, but, if you're not already aware, that is what the Game Art and Design course can do to you. Unless! I have already done a blog on creativity, and in that case then, Mike, you need to get more 'creative' with your blog tasks.

To create something is to bring something into existence, so, somebody who is 'creative' basically has the ability to bring things into existence?

The problem is, most of the time this question gets debated it becomes tedious and boring, so lets just go straight into a Youtube video shall we. I know my head lecturer wont mind me posting this, so please watch it and enjoy it, and learn something. If you enjoy it, AND learn something, then please just feel free to ignore what else I have to say.

The talk by Sir Ken Robinson above is an extremely important and enlightening one. Because he has the ability to make people laugh, his message is more received than others and this is the important thing. If you agree with most, or all of what he says then, like myself, you're probably from planet Earth and have therefore been educated here.

I think the most important thing that Sir Ken mentions in the video is Education. For me personally, education is one of, if not the greatest assets to mankind, it is an extremely powerful tool, and when used correctly it can give very powerful results, but if used wrong it can cause major issues.

So far, I have been blessed with a wonderful education all through my life, not just at school, but from family, friends and even strangers. But as Sir Ken points out, there seems to be something fundamentally wrong with some approaches, even to good education. For me personally, it has taken a self directed journey in order to discover this, and maybe that’s the only way to, and maybe it sometimes takes others longer to discover it than other, or maybe sometimes people never discover and here’s where the problem lies.

Are you afraid to be wrong? If you are, why? I suppose from a young age you quickly learn that if you do something wrong it can cause problems, but why are we not taught that if you do something wrong, you might learn how to do it right, or learn something new, or create something new? Getting something right gives you one result, getting something wrong gives you infinite possibilities!

Did you know, that apparently it took Thomas Edison 1000's of tries before he invented the light-bulb? Would he of invented it if he was afraid to get it wrong? And the point that Sir Ken makes in his lectures is, “If you're not prepared to be wrong, you will never create anything original”. Creativity and originality work hand in hand, and if somebody or something is creative then it means that it is an original idea that has value. Creativity spawns from unpredictability and the capacity to innovate. This brings me onto a little argument I had recently. Somebody had already told me that this person has this opinion, but I was taken aback a little when he said it to me. He told me that 'art is easy, anyone can do it'. Naturally, I quickly disagreed, and to prove my following point I quickly logged into my online portfolio to show him a specific piece of my work. Last year I spent many hours doing a pencil drawing of a car, a Bentley Continental GT if you're at all interested, and its shown below;

What I told him was that before I joined the Game Art and Design course I could never draw cars like this. I'd tried and failed many, many times, and he replied, 'but you must of always been able to draw well'. Well, no. We hear the phrase, 'naturally talented' thrown around a lot, and to some degree I agree with it and understand it, the human form is a very complex one, and yes, some people may have the abilities, naturally, to do certain things better than others, but my argument was that if that was the case, then it wouldn't last for long. You can only rely on natural ability for so long before you hit a brick wall, true ability, talent, skill, comes from dedication and hard work. Valentino Rossi makes racing a 240bhp motorcycle look very easy, but he had his arse on a motorbike before I could even walk! Ronnie O'Sullivan makes getting a top score of 147 when he plays Snooker look very easy, and his first 147 score was when he was 7! What do these two extraordinarily talented individuals have in common, natural ability?Then why is one good at one thing but cant do the other? Why cant some people draw cars like the one I drew, why couldn't I always draw cars like that? If art is so easy! Its because Valentino Rossi, Ronnie O'Sullivan, and myself believe it or not, have practise, and practised, and practised very hard to become as skilled as we are in the things that we do. I drew that car wrong 100's of times before I drew that one, but nobody seen me get it wrong! Ronnie O'Sullivan missed thousands upon thousands of shots before he became as good as he did and Valentino Rossi crashed at speeds of up to 200mph before he could race a MotoGP like he does today, like its part of him!

So it all comes back to my most important point. Creativity, talent and skill all thrive on one important core entity, and if the core becomes rotten, then creativity, talent and skill can become broken, misused or misunderstood. Education. The ability to be open to education is the most important thing, not for me or you, but for everybody, for life on this planet, and all to often we can close ourselves off from it all to easily without ever knowing we have. 

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