The sacrificial creativity: the misconception of creativity in the modern world

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During lockdown, there was a massive pressure on people to be creative since time is the thing we needed to kill. While this is not a bad idea and creativity is thrived in moments of silence and slowness, the whole marketed creativity was more perceived as an obligation. However, creativity is not an obligation. What is creativity then?

Creativity is the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc. It is the synonym of originality, inventiveness, progressiveness, imagination.

Consequently, there are two main goals to creativity: aesthetics and necessity. For the latter, creativity is essentially an obligation and that’s how humans evolved and survived as specie. But for aesthetics and intellectual pleasure how can creativity become an obligation? It is almost a paradox. Therefore where did conception come from?

In ancient times, creativity was never an issue except for poets who were inspired by muses. There was a natural way to let creativity develop by simply letting it be. It was more like a dance with creativity whenever anyone was inspired. Nature is creativity without an issue, hence the peaceful relationship humans had with it.

In modern times, since the 17th century, a man was defined as a free conscience being in total mastery of his own thoughts and actions. Creativity started to be an issue because it had to me mastered and under the command of the ego. Then a person had to be creative. The relationship to creativity became a struggle, pushing artists to sacrifices and artificial ways to reach it. Most artists still beat themselves up to create something. How many artists did commit suicide? How many others were/are addicted?

Forced creativity and commercialization of art in general turned creativity into an obligation and a burden.  As Nietzsche said it once:

I want to know whether you are a person devoted to creating or to exchanging in some respect or other: as a creator you belong to the free, as an exchanger you are their slave and instrument.

9 thoughts on “The sacrificial creativity: the misconception of creativity in the modern world”

  1. Interesting ideas. of course we are naturally creative, and the new arises from the situation – our history and environment, if we are open to it. Maybe you’ve hit on one of the problems with modern art, if there is some sort of artificial search for creativity?
    Incidentally I like the forks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My younger self had this strong sense:

    Creativity and sacrifice should not go together.

    This “give everything”/”give nothing” dichotomy poisoned creative relationships and relationals for so very long.

    Barry – great points about that artificial search.

    That search can sometimes be productive – like the soundscapes of Agatha Gothe-Snape.

    Yes – intellectual curiosity can drive creativity. Emotional curiosity too.

    Right now I am curious about Sun Yat-Sen.

    Liked by 1 person

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