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Creativity

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Bored and lonely? Blame your phone.

“Our emotions today are radically different from what 19th-century Americans felt. That’s partly due to technology.”

The headline makes it sound like another “turn off your facebooks” article, but it’s a fascinating interview with Susan J. Matt about how we’ve talked about and related to boredom over the last couple of centuries.


Quotes

Creative work is good for the soul

I am now in my sixties and drawing comics again has rejuvenated me. It is not only that I am doing the kind of work I did in my youth, but that I am directing my mind to think along the same lines that it did back then. [...] To do creative work is good for the soul. As long as you have an enthusiasm, you have happiness.

  • Paul Kirchner
  • “Awaiting the Collapse” (2017)


Marsh on contemporary digital cultures

[...] contemporary digital cultures provide rich opportunities for the promotion of play that is rooted in children’s everyday experiences. This is not [...] an inferior form of play; rather, it sits alongside more traditional play activities and is important for creative development



Sister Corita’s Tree

After being a nun in Los Angeles for thirty years, Corita Kent moved across the country to Boston so she could live quietly and make her art. Her apartment had a big bay window and a maple tree out front, and she liked to sit there and observe the tree changing throughout the seasons.

[...]

For Kent, the tree came to represent creativity itself. Like a tree, creative work has seasons. Part of the work is to know which season you’re in, and act accordingly. In winter, “the tree looks dead, but we know it’s beginning a very deep process, out of which will come spring and summer.”


Unfilled moments

Unfilled moments, moments where you don’t have entertainment, or moments where you don’t have companionship, may actually spawn creativity. Certainly a lot of 19th-century romantics thought that.

Being still with yourself can give access to all sorts of ideas and musings that wouldn’t otherwise occur. So perhaps in our quest to end boredom our creativity is being stunted, and we’re actually becoming more boring.


Joakim on modest art

Everybody is brought up with the idea that you need to make great art. But most of the things that I listen to and I really love is very modest art. Like, even if you think of library music, it’s not made to be art. It’s made to be used for commercials. But there’s so much love in the craft that it becomes amazing. And it’s very modest. I think this struggle is a good thing to go back to, and retreat from. It makes you progress. Even if you’re not going to make the greatest record or write the greatest novel, the process of doing it helps you progress.