Notes For Creators

creative soul surfing

We’re living in the inflection point

We’re all creatives now, whether we recognize it or not. This era is marked by frenetic creation.

The new supersedes the barely-no-longer new with surprising quickness. The laptop I’m tapping away on. It’s so last year. There’s a newer version that’s even bendier. Lighter too. Plus it’s amped up to new steroidal highs with more/better capacity in every way.

It’s exciting. Mommy blogs, yoga selfies, angel investing, tech unicorns, digital nomads, tiny houses, staycations, YouTube stars, life hacking, lifestyle design  . . . .  So many things that didn’t exist 100 years ago, if 10.

Glorious, even madcap innovation goes on everywhere. To be alive today is to be creating. In truth it’s always been this way, but innovation wasn’t treasured. Not in the ways we value creativity now.

There’s the story of  the Roman Emperor Tiberius who immediately beheaded the craftsman who innovated the process for creating ‘flexible glass.” This shiny material that dented but did not shatter upon being dropped was later speculated to be the first discovery of aluminum. The hapless discoverer lost his head because Tiberius feared it would cause gold and silver to plummet in value.

And then there’s Queen Elizabeth I who denied a patent to William Lee, inventor of the first knitting machine. In her denial of a patent she bemoaned the effects of progress itself, that it would put out of business too many of her subjects who made their living from hand knitting. Though he was eventually to find some success in France, he ultimately died in poor financial straits — while his invention went on to become the backbone of the textiles industry for hundreds of years.

Artistically there’s never been a freer time.

Abstraction, realism, happenings, conceptualism, surrealism, impressionism, expressionism, pop, action painting, pattern and design, art installations, earth art, ephemeral art, shock art, body painting, activist art . . . in the modern world every conceivable art form is being practiced somewhere. Someone somewhere is crossing boundaries, combining mango juice with blood and paint and feathers . . . or mixing high and low . . . or flaunting an anti-commercial message via an ironic and profitable commercialism.

Today, in enlightened societies, you are free to discard your gender identity. You need not identify as either of the traditional genders if you choose. Similarly, today you are free to be monogamous for life, polygamous for a time, polyamorous, polytheistic, monotheistic, atheistic or a religion of one.

We value those who create over those who destroy.

Finally!

More honors are bestowed upon creators than conquerors.

Finally.

Long after Che Guevara is forgotten, Gandhi will be remain ascendant in our consciousness. Eventually the peacemakers will be celebrated and the fearmongers and the warmongers will be shunned. Even in our media. Even to the ends of the political spectrum.

Finally.

Even now you see it in popular books. The technorati of our era are celebrated far more in articles and books than fighters.

We’re living in the inflection point, the era when creators are prized more than warriors. All you need do is travel from town to town in any area with hundreds of years of history to its name. It’s the man on horseback with a sword who is cast in stone or bronze for all to admire. Atop a fountain or astride a city park.

That’s changing. Finally, inventors and doers and scrappers and entrepreneurs and tinkerers and artists and writers and thinkers and film makers and innovators and chefs and choreographers and lifestylers and healers and designers and engineers and scientists and  . . . so many more . . . are celebrated. In fact, creators are at the top of the celebration pyramid.

The zeitgeist has changed: Bring something novel into the world, we are asked. Bring your best self into what you do, we are advised. It is no longer about conquerors. It’s about creators.

We’re all creatives now. Success now is about what you can create — a generous-hearted home, a meme, a business, a song, a friendship, a life — not what you can acquire. It is the same with adventure. It is no longer about claiming parts of the world from tribal peoples with primitive weaponry. Adventure is about what you can create! A freelance lifestyle, impact, a family, a career, an experience, a connection, an opus, a website, a cartoon, a smile . . .  

Creation is where it’s at. Creativity is universal to the human spirit. The creative spirit runs through us! It’s also what connects us. Through our offerings and through our exchange of ideas. And creativity is not limited to what we normally think about when contemplate the creative realm. The creative impulse is not constrained to being artsy-crafty.

There are many reading this who don’t have an artistic gene in their body — at least not one that is expressing — and yet their creativity runs rampant.

And you feel it. That cool boss who smooths the vagaries of the work day in a way others don’t even think of. The starter upper, launching biz after biz. The mom who makes every play date a joy.

Every sphere of life worth living is creative at its heart.

 


Excerpted from a bookito in progress: The Way of The Creative

Master glassworker Rick Eggert passing on his knowledge to the next generation:

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