Wednesday, August 12, 2015


I have long been a collector of quotations.  I love the pithy, authoritative statement that seems to encapsulate some facet of Truth.  I've especially enjoyed collecting bits of wisdom about creativity and the art and design process, and I have gone so far as to compile a two-page handout of quotations about art that I share with my Design classes.  Choosing just a few to share here is like choosing which of your children you like best, but here are two of my favorites:

"What if we treated driving like we treat the arts?  

Image result for sports car image

We’d assume that people were either born to drive or not.  We’d wait and see if, as children, they started driving on their own, if they had talent and a calling.  If they did, we would be careful not to interfere with their talent and possibly suppress it.  We would make sure to encourage only those who seemed they’d be able to drive professionally.  We’d pay some of them millions of dollars to drive and lavish them with fame; others we would refuse to support, encouraging them to do something more useful for society.  Everyone else would assume that they would never be able to drive and would just stand on the sidewalks and watch the traffic."
--Danny Gregory, in his book The Creative License: Giving yourself Permission to be the Artist You Truly Are

"An artist is not a special kind of person—each person is a special kind of artist."
            --Kiki Smith

These quotations get at something I deeply believe--that being creative in the broadest sense is part of our DNA, our birthright as human beings.  Each human being has creative potential and ability.  We are obviously not all creative in the same ways, and even those who are creative in the field of visual arts express their creativity in almost limitless ways.  There is no one right way to be an artist, and you don't have to be born with a certain rare type of talent.  Just imagine what we'd see if we assumed everyone could learn to make art, just as we assume nearly everyone can learn to drive!

So. . . don't just stand on the sidewalk and watch other people drive all the cool, colorful cars!  Think about signing up for a class in whatever kind of creative expression appeals to you.  A friend of mine, an art quilter, recently shared with me some of the drawings she has done as part of her first formal class in drawing.  She is amazed at how well they have turned out, and indeed they are quite good, after just a handful of lessons.   Go ahead--get behind the wheel--you might just amaze yourself!

No comments:

Post a Comment