Friday, February 28, 2014

Demystifying Creativity

"I wish I was creative," is the all-too-common response when I explain that my boyfriend is an artist. The problem with this statement is not the individual's desire for increased creativity, but rather the unstudied mentality of what's realistically involved in doing so. 

Malcolm Gladwell author of The Tipping Point and Blink, explains in his most recent book Outliers, "The closer psychologists looked at the gifted, the bigger role preparation seemed to play." 
He concludes, "Anyone with guided practice, for an extended amount of time, could reach a level of proficiency that would rival that of a professional." 

How long is an extended amount of time? Generally speaking, it takes 10,000 hours or 10 years, whichever comes first, to master a skill. Although genes increase one's propensity towards a certain areas, without adequate time and dedication, the skill wanes.  

Jack Kerouac, an American novelist and poet notes, "Therefore I dedicate to myself, to my art, my sleep, my dreams, my labors, my sufferance, my loneliness, my unique madness, my endless absorption and hunger because I cannot dedicate myself to any fellow being." The art within beckons to be let out; how will you answer its call?