Monday, February 9, 2009

A little inspiration

Today I watched one of the TED talks given by Elizabeth Gilbert on the topic of genius. Specifically the difference between the modern conception of BEING genius, versus the historical notion of HAVING genius. I found it quite enlightening.

The video is about 20 minutes long, but definitely worth watching.

Elizabeth Gilbert on Genius

I think it is important to recognize the role that inspiration plays in the creative process. Of course, to large degree, every work of art/literature/performance is attributable to the skill of the artist, but the intangible truth of inspiration often contributes just as much to the work. There is surely a difference between a craftsman and an artist.

Inspiration, by definition is an unconscious burst of creativity. While we have no qualms as a society accepting the idea that inspiration exists, we somehow expect to attribute all of the responsibility of the final product to the artist. This is where this talk really strikes a chord with me.

Having been in the position where the anxiety of fleeting inspiration sets in, it's certainly a welcome concept to be able to lay some of that responsibility on an outside influence, however intangible and obscure the influence may be.


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