I labored over a concept this past Labor Day when I turned to PBS and caught a repeat showing of Charlie Rose’s twelfth
episode regarding the Brain (10/28/2010.) It was a re-run that I’ve now played over a couple of times in my effort to grasp what the varied contributors had
to say. Go to: www.CharlieRose.com
Rose did the series with Eric Kandel, a Nobel Prize winning neuroscientist. The Round Table included Amy Tempkin,
curator of painting and sculpture at NY’s MOMA,painter Chuck Close, sculptor Richard Serra and neurologist and writer
Serra & Kandel
Tempkin pointed out that Close and Serra were at Yale together along with several other emerging artists who
subsequently moved to NYC where Serra’s “day job” was a small trucking firm at which he hired other artists, musicians, creators. At Yale, imitation of
previous generations of artists was part of working their way toward finding their intuitive creative work. Tempkin described the founding of community in which togetherness, rivalry, the desire to support one another, seeing others’ work and “talking and talking” as freeing the originality of work. A common
Rose & Close
Many aspects of creativity were spoken of: the little that is understood of brain biology’s role; how dyslexia, face
blindness and other compromises act on it; imitation as a route to finding one’s own expression; the role of emotion/sublimation with Sacks giving an
enlightening story on Melville, Hawthorne and Moby Dick.
Sacks (cap to protect his eyes)
I was struck by the idea of community and creativity and thought back to my own experiences with other writers. I find that a sense of unity with diversion, common ground and strong energy tends to evolve whenever two writers or more convene. Just as creative writing programs press writers to work in the style of an established writer, even to he point of simple copy typing, we read voraciously to study style, offer critiques, share information and talk, talk, talk.
As the panel noted, the days of isolation in the attic garret are long gone, if they ever truly were. Think of the Impressionists gathering at cafes, Bohemians in North Beach, etc. drinking and talking at all hours. It is in community that originality is freed to generate itself. Mysteries abound. What motivates or drives the creativity juice. What compels one to communicate, to share even while/if narcissistic and self-involved? What determines the Eureka or Aha response?
My friend Janet Reihl (www.riehlife.com) describes creativity “…as a life force that runs through all of us” and takes hard work. As Chuck Close said,
“…inspiration is just for amateurs, the rest of us just show up for work.”
What does it
take for you to show up for work?
Where do you
find community and does it help the creative juices to flow?