June 26, 2008

[creativity - a rant]

How does one define being CREATIVE. It's a question that is super baffling for me, both on my professional grounds as well as being in this online community. How do you define designing something - is it the act of making something from scratch? In the most traditional form, the artist is the person that puts pen to paper, paint to canvas. He does everything from the first masterstroke to the very last drop and dab. In my professional work, it gets a bit more complicated. Is the design of a building the masterstroke of 1 single person? Who is that 1 person and do you then discount the work and time and effort of the entire construction team - the people who run the site works, the people who spend 24/7 on the building site, choosing materials, managing the site staff, the people (often faceless and nameless) who are the actual people BUILDING. We often overlook all of them, with the rush to claim that the building is the sole authorship of THE architect. In all the previous places that i've worked in, it is this faceless firm that takes the credit. It is not the individual, it is the firm that is claiming the right of authorship. No matter you spent the majority of work (and often then not personal) time on that particular project.
In the crafting front, i love looking at design blogs. I love the amount of talent out there that is being uploaded every minute, every second onto the www. However, along with all this talent, and also being part of the street fair, these questions invariably pop up:
1. does crafting and handmade means totally made by you? Not handmade by your helper or other family members for example....
2. if you stamp another persons stamp onto a handmade pouch constitute YOUR design? does putting on another person's embellishment onto your handmade bag constitute YOUR design? i'm not sure - i've purchased a few appliques from ETSY, but have yet to put them onto anything, and i think i would never have the audacity to sell it, much less post it on my blog claiming the whole work is soley mine.
3. where does technique (which can be done by anybody) end and where does craft (and with it originality) begin?

These are difficult questions to answer, which i've been dealing with all the time. I feel that it is all about originality, all about being the 1st one to think about a way to present the work, a way to put things together, a way to define what is YOUR style.

On a lighter note.... thanks for introducing me up HERE! :)


soo jen said...

hey Jacq,
interesting thoughts and intriguing questions. i too often wonder when and to what extent can one say one's "creation" of crafting is original or lifted or inspired or plain copied? i guess, bottom line is, give credit where and to whom it is due. whether it's a piece of craft inspired by or lifted from another crafter's creation...or incorporated into one's own piece of craft.

and on a lighter note, must say how i have been inspired by your designs, especially your stitched crafts!

feli said...

i agree with what you said here.. Especially the last paragraph.. I'm struggling with it too.. :)