Baring Your Soul

No matter what form your creativity takes, it always comes from deep inside your soul and from the depths of your subconscious.

Sometimes, that means you uncover an extremely ugly, yet powerful, concept.  If it reaches out and grabs the viewer — even with it’s ugliness — then it is a successful piece.

It doesn’t matter what form your creativity takes.  All forms of creativity have their beauty, their power even in the midst of its exposure of your dark places.

It’s one of the reasons I love Salvador Dalí’s work. And the Xanth novels of Piers Anthony, although they are ripe with puns.  And some of the songs by Taylor Swift, even though some of them piss me off. Or the music of Aqua, available on Youtube in two different ways (the AquaHoldet Channel or the Aqua Vevo Channel), even if they really are what is considered a “Bubblegum Dance” group, as is Toy-Box (although, there seems to be a bit of a Bollywood leaning to Toy-Box’s music).

Art should make you feel.  It’s one of the reasons I don’t like a lot of the art movements of the last 100 years, including functionalism; deconstructivism; pop art; modernism and abstraction.  Most of these movements leave me absolutely cold – no real emotion is evoked.  In fact, in some of these art movements, the artists felt that if the audience couldn’t understand or weren’t moved, then it was successful.

I firmly disagree.  What makes art is the synergy between the creator and the audience.If a writer’s work doesn’t engross you, make you care about the characters and make you live in their world while you are reading, then it is a failed book, comic or film/TV Show.

The quote above comes from a discussion between the female lead in the book, and a college acquaintance of hers.  She was going to school for music.  The person she was speaking to was considered a musical prodigy, performing flawlessly whatever was put in front of him.  But, he accused her of knowing his deep, dark secret – that he was putting nothing of himself in any performance.  He was afraid to bare his soul.

It’s part and parcel of the experience of creativity for me.  It could be that I am being too harshly critical of some creatives.  But I don’t personally think so.  My ex hated it when I wanted to discuss the themes of a particular form of creativity.  His reaction was that it was “just for fun/enjoyment”, and that I was “sucking the life out of it.” I obviously disagree.

No creative work that I enjoy ever just has a single meaning, even just for me.  What I appreciate from creators of these works is the effect they have on me, which might change each time I consume that work.  And I tend to avoid work that has no underlying meaning, because it leaves me cold and bored.  Speculative fiction, for example, holds meaning for me because each author tends to answer the question of “what if?”


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