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The Value of Creative Expression
The Value of Creative Expression
By Tony DeLorger © 2012
Inevitably torn between what I want and what I need to do in life, I find myself begrudgingly accepting the compromise. It is not an issue of selfishness or laziness but more what society deems productive that demotivates me. My productivity is based on creativity, something that is often devalued in society. My expression is a necessity for me to remain engaged and aware of what matters and happens around me. Society, by its own definition requires participation with distinct guidelines, trying to place all people in some predefined box, and in a way suppressing those of us who don’t fully adhere to convention.
This status quo is shown by how difficult it is to uphold a career in a creative art form, with only a chosen few to rise to the heights of success. It is not the lack of talent but opportunity that dictates a creative career future. The seen difference between being a lawyer and an artist is largely biased, regardless of commitment, income or productivity. Society still regards creative pursuits as somehow inferior, yet in essence all discoveries, advances in technology and ideologies are born from a creative mind. Perhaps it is in application that society judges ‘creative pursuits’ valid or invalid. Nonetheless, for those of us who struggle financially for being committed to our art, opportunity and therefore success is limited.
Art is the expression in colour, shape, language and form that defines humanity in all its diversity of thought, belief and experience. It is a reflection from each soul, a view of life, what we are in reality and potential. Art is a necessity as a point of understanding, as well as a revelation to the bounds of the human mind and capacity. It is I believe, our collective soul, rendering unlimited range as well as the latent possibilities in life.
Creativity and the means by which to encourage it should be a central theme in basic education and not an elective. What can be learned from creative thinking is far more valuable than the transfer of data. With a mind trained to explore possibility through an unlimited potential, acquiring data is simply a result, not the central core of learning. Also creative thinking crosses all boundaries including our understanding of one another, how we interact and compromise to adapt friendships and partnerships.
The problem is compounded by the fact of commercialism. Businesses that sell and promote art forms rely on trends, certain financial return and the realised costs of promotion. It all gets down to money, market potential and relevant subject matter. In a way society forces trite artistic expression to guarantee return rather than support the quality of the new work. The powers that be then control the output of art to suit their own financial agendas, restricting the whole point of artistic expression.
What we read is considered viable not because of quality and originality but because it fits into the commercial considerations of the investors behind the promotors. What we see in any art is controlled by the same considerations, leaving a plethora of fine artist, sculptors, writers and indeed any students of artistic expression out on the street to beg for crumbs. A creative career is not easy and is of course extremely competitive. But I feel society as a whole needs to revalue the worth of art and in doing so encourage the paths of creative thought and expression in our children, who will inherit the world from us.
Dedication should always be revered and for those with a creative mind and the ability to express it, the opportunity to have their work appraised by a thirsty public, should be afforded.