I said recently, that you can’t Teach people to have an imagination, what I meant is that, whilst you can teach people to use their imagination, and probably to recognise and tap into it too, I’m not so sure you can significantly alter peoples base ability.
I wonder if some of it is cultural, and social, the fear to be childlike or appear a little too wacky. Certainly as people age, the fear of expressing the imagination seems to swell…. and I think that from this, you get a distinction in creativity… a lot of the more creative people I know (not just artists/writers/musicians) seeem able to grasp truly bizarre and ridiculous concepts, and feel free to play with them, without feeling that they are innapropriate, whilst I also know some people who point blank refuse to examine such possibilities, as if they were somehow taboo, or if the process is somehow taboo itself. I also know some people who are rather creative, but seem a little stifled by this very thing… they cannot truly tap into their imagination… so whilst they are technically gifted, and often have an exquisite understanding of composition, light and form, cannot tap into the more abstract thought processes and apply them to their craft…
Art is the ultimate forum for imagination, and the human imagination is one of the bizarrest facets of humanity, thus creating an additional world for us all to explor, that whilst physically safe can be both complex, exciting or just completely otherworldly….
So, give your inner 5 year old the permission to look at all art, listen to music and read books with you… I guarantee they’ll be great fun to be around.
For years I considered myself to be an artist, from my late teens I suppose, although I was almost 30 before I had the nerve to cite this in public.. but to be honest, was I really an artist at all? Wasn’t I just a cleaner, fabric-finisher, animation employee, refridgeration assemblage operative, 20% disabled person, dole collector, who made a bit of art? That’s the thing, aren’t you really just what you do…? What you give the most of your time over to doing… If you spend 40 hours a week being an accountant and 5 playing golf, are you a golfer who happens to be an accountant?
Even now, am I an artist? I don’t do anything else…. I can’t for the most part, I make as much art as I can, people call me an artist, I walk, quack, swim and shit like an artist, I must be one. There are so many people who are really good at making good art, thoughtful and expressive, but are they artists??? I don’t know, I’m always wondering….
Maybe you don’t need to do it “more than anything else” to be it… otherwise I’m really just a self-employed sleeper and tv critic… but you’re not an artist if you used to make art, not an actor if you used to act, not an engineer who used to work at it… you’re what ever you are now, and that’s it, you can still be that easily… but don’t tell me you’re an artist cos you done a painting 20 years ago, tell me you’re an artist because it’s all you believe you can possible be and all you want to be and can see nothing else in your life… then, whatever job you do to support the creation of you’re art stops defining you and your art starts to… otherwise, you are what you are, and you also make art.