Has Creativity Been Stunted as a Result of Modern Technology?

As of late, I have been feeling a little sapped of creativity. A bit weary, lacking passion, and caught up in the motions.

My interest/future in the arts is more from the business side of things, and helping artists do what they do best— but I do like to dabble in graffiti and most recently painting from time to time, a healthy hobby I’d say.

A few weeks ago, I finished a painting I had been “meditating” over for months and  trying to think up what to do next…

Interpreting the human form is not my forte, but I do like nature.  A fox? Squid? Lemur?  Everything just felt a bit played out..which brings me to my conundrum..

Q:Why are things starting to feel “played out”?

A: The internet has opened up an entire new world of references. Blessing and a curse.  But now when I think of a “fox” for example, my crazy mind darts to hundreds of images/fragments of foxes I’ve seen throughout history, in art blogs, at museums, in advertising, in movies..aaaand I shut down.  I am stunted by the fact that I feel like I can’t give it a different spin.

I think back to when I was little..before the internet.  When I would sit in my backyard and catch frogs and think about dragons driving ice cream trucks and how a piece of red tissue paper could transform my guinea pig into little red riding hood. I used to be able to take little moments in my life, most likely mundane to anyone else, and excitedly scrawl them into full-length illustrated books that looking back really made no sense, but I am not sure they needed to.

So here I am, mid 20’s, burned out and feeling unable to invent and conjure wholly unique ideas.  Kind of like that awful scene in The Garden State where Natalie Portman dances painfully and spews a string of nonsense so she can have a totally “original moment”.

Follow me in a different direction —

I stumbled upon LA artist Greg Simkin’s site the other day, and really love his work.

From Greg’s Artist Bio:

“I haven’t always liked stretching canvas and never thought I would be doing it on a regular basis but these days, it has become more of an adventure than a chore. It is the sponge that soaks up all the thoughts going on in my head. Having an overactive imagination since a very young age, it has always made sense to me that any artwork I develop should be composed of these vivid thoughts. What used to take form in crayons and pencil, evolved into pen and ink drawings, spray painted murals and computer graphics, and has further morphed into the acrylic paintings I create these days.  My childhood obsessions with Disney cartoons, Lorne Greens’ New Wilderness and books such as Watership Down and The Phantom Tollbooth have become fodder for my work as it develops today.

I have become increasingly interested in the rabbit holes we fall down when daydreaming. So many have created worlds in their art in which to escape and inhabit, and for others to enjoy. We have seen glimpses of them in Narnia, Wonderland, Middle Earth, Neverland, and Hanalee. As homage to these types and shadows of other lands, I have attached the all-encompassing title, “The Outside”.  As our imagination takes over, we tend to leave what is ordinary and go outside of ourselves to visit these places. This is why I paint and what has inspired me over the years to grow as an artist. It is the constant search for what else is on the outside. “

Okay, bring it back.

Greg’s bio, intense discussions at Texas Roadhouse(6oz filet and two sides $16 allimsayin) over yeast rolls and 22oz beers, and speaking to various gallery owners about my current situation has led me to realize:

People will always be painting bowls of fruit.

I recently caught up with Frank Paluch, Owner and Director of Perimeter Gallery in Chicago.  His thoughts were this- “No one came down the sky and told artists to be creative and make something that has no reference to anything else.  Nobody will ever be Rubens or paint as loosely as Pollock. It’s all been done..what’s left is your take on things and your ability/talent to apply it to the situation you’re in.”

Well said.

This won’t be an overnight transformation, but I am willing to loosen my grip, let the world come to me, reflect on my past experiences, pay more attention to my dreams and the shapes in the clouds and see what happens.

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