Some thoughts on creation and absorption

"Time not spent creating is wasted."

A friend expressed the above to me yesterday. And curiously enough, I've been thinking about the very same thing. A coincidence that may not make, but a blog topic? Definitely!

Snapped in the studio of one of my favorite artists, Leah Tinari.

As a full-time design student, I am literally creating things all the time for artistic projects. But creation is not limited to full-fledged or completed pieces of work! It does not have to be creative in the traditional sense. It doesn't even have to be tangible!

Think about it. Do you equate "creating" with drawing, writing, or making music? Do you see your own work as an act of creation?

I define creation as an act of conscious thinking with some kind of implication. I believe the majority of creation happens in idea form. To brainstorm for a project is just as powerful as working on it. In my own design work, I spend at least half the time working mentally aside from tackling anything on paper. This process is not only what leads to creation-- it is creation at work in itself.

Likewise, much of philosophical thought is also about creating. By delving into any intellectual issue, one inevitably creates at least a single opinion! Creating new angles of thinking is just as important as innovative design.

One major way to create, I've come to realize, is to actively absorb information. This could be from one's environment, other people, or media. To elucidate the difference-- just sitting in a movie theatre doesn't necessarily equal creation. But thinking about the film, subconsciously making connections to larger issues, and storing the visuals in the back of your mind to use for future inspiration-- now that is just as important as hypothetical or theoretical creation!

Books have long been my primary medium for information. When I am really engaged in reading, it feels on par with my deepest creative exploration. If you've never felt that way about a novel before, don't give up! I recently created my first Listmania on Amazon (took me long enough!). It is called "Intensely beautiful books" and consists of the novels that have changed and shaped my thinking since I was four years old.

What else encourages creation? Curiosity. Asking questions. Paying attention to people and surroundings. Making connections. Forming positive relationships. Thinking twice. Making it a point to do and experience something incredible through your individual, one-of-a-kind existence.

Because isn't that what life is all about?

I'd dearly love to hear what you guys have to say on this topic! How much time do you spend creating every day?



MJ said...

Life isn't worth living if you're not discovering new things. There isn't much else to life except learning, as far as I can tell!


Cafe Fashionista said...

Curiosity. Imagination. Those are definitely the things that keep me creating. Loving this post - and the title!! :)

Plunk! said...

I couldn't agree with you more! To be honest, when I first read the quote I groaned. As a science person, it really bothers me sometimes that I'm not "creative," in the traditional sense. Thanks for helping me realize otherwise :-)

"Actively absorbing information" ... yes.

Curiosity, definitely. Questions, without a doubt. But I think most importantly is just doing. Do SOMETHING... and that is creating.

(Sorry for the long comments :-P I do enjoy your blog so.)

Sim said...

Hi Tee, I came across your blog by coincidence and I think it's very interesting and creative as well ;)
I think for someone to be creative & active about it one needs to have a healthy mind and have a positive outlook in general. Mind clutter will only lead to counter-productivity etc.And that in turn hampers creativity.

Tee said...

Amy- I didn't even realize that my post could be a reassurance to you guys in the sciences and such. I'm really glad that struck a chord with you, and that you're enjoying the posts! Thank you for keeping up with the blog :)

MJ- As a Sagittarius, I'm inclined to agree with you! :P

Sim- I definitely have come to realize that about the positivity mindset, but mind-clutter is an interesting way to put it. I wonder how that can be fully defined/realized!

Thank you all for weighing in. It's always thrilling to me when my thoughts reveal themselves to be in sync with that of others!

katydid said...

just because creation (of paintings, written works, etc.) is a good, positive, wholesome, necessary thing, and learning/asking question etc. are ALSO good, positive, wholesome, necessary things, i don't think that equates them to the SAME thing.

except in perhaps creating the self.
maybe that's what you're getting at.

Tee said...

Katy- The fact that they're all positive things wasn't the point I was getting at. Of course, I could have gone much further into the idiosyncrasies of thought and when exactly it equates to creation, but honestly, that would take up the space of an entire book that I'll probably write someday.

What I'm trying to say (and maybe this wasn't entirely clear) is that I believe sustained thought, be it in form of asking questions or actively processing information, is in fact creation itself at work. It is the synthesis of idea. The original ability of an individual brain to create not a typically-creative piece of art, but a new entity of thought.

As a side-note: Although I'm all for innovation, this definition doesn't take into consideration the level of originality or merit in the creation, as is likewise done in most definitions of art!