I truly believe there are two different types of creative outlet: Creativity for your own enjoyment and creativity for the enjoyment of others. There are also creative outlets that fall in two categories for me: Those that can be a past time and those that are either never going to happen or have to be great.
That second category almost always falls under “creativity for the enjoyment of others.” Why do you never hear a mundane violinist? Because if someone isn’t great at the violin, if they haven’t put in hours of practice and been diligent in the honing of their craft, it isn’t nice to listen to. The violin is a complicated instrument. It’s not easy to learn and it’s not for the faint of heart. A violinist is almost always a dedicated musician. You just don’t find someone picking out Row Row Row Your Boat casually on the violin often. There are many creative crafts that fall in this same Ven Diagram section of the arts: Oil Painting. Oh, you may see hanging in some peoples home a lame painting they did in a college art class but oil painting is an expensive craft and it’s rare that someone gets out full blown paintings and isn’t somewhat good at what they do. At least they aren’t going to show you if they aren’t good. They will hide that away. You aren’t going to find many casual gymnasts beyond a toddler level. Most gymnasts that can do anything more than a back handspring are at the gym more often than not and are learning things about their bodies that we could never dream. They might never get to the Olympics but they are fun to watch nonetheless.
Then there are these creative outlets that can be so casual it’s hard to see when it is exceptional. It’s not that hard to learn a few chords and play the guitar around a campfire for friends to sing a few songs. Who doesn’t know how to play Heart and Soul on the piano? Is there a person alive who doesn’t know how to at least peddle a bike along a path. There are a multitude of teens who know how to push along on a skateboard and might pull out a kick flip now and again. It isn’t hard to crochet a string or even a potholder or two. These are all creative outlets that can be past times and also can be somewhat enjoyed by your friends and yourself. They are great for the casual learner, after school play or summer time fun. They are not exclusively past times. There are people who are GREAT at all of these things and have made them a career. It’s harder to be recognized for greatness in this cross over category in my opinion. If you can do a kick flip, you may truly believe that just a little more practice and you are the next Will Spencer. You may think that those chords are just a step away from your being the next Slash but I assure you, that is not the case. The great talent that is achieved and seldom acknowledged in these fields is attained by hours and hours and hours of practice. It is the lonely work. These are the fields in which it is so hard to prove your value.
It was recently pointed out to me that there are no awards for stunt men and yet they are usually the only ones risking their lives on a movie set. Interesting, yes?
This really got my goad the other day. I was watching a YouTube video about Andrew Garfield’s stunts in The Amazing Spiderman and you can hear the coordinators talking about the ACTOR being a world class athlete. He didn’t even know how to push along on a skateboard before Will, his stunt double, taught him how! Can’t we give credit where credit is due!
There was a post that I can’t find or connect to going around on Facebook about what it takes to make that GREAT photo that you are printing off and using without giving credit or paying for it’s use. To get some of those ethereal, perfectly lit photos, there is the cost of the camera, the lens, the filters, the computer, the software to fix the levels and the TIME. It’s amazing what it takes to make the perfect photo. You have have your camera all the time so that when that right time, right place occurs, you are prepared and can seize the moment.
Makes you think twice about ripping people off when you think it’s a victimless crime, doesn’t it? At least, I hope it does.
So, if you are amazing at something that others can casually enjoy at a whole lesser level than you, what are your thoughts on the career aspect of that particular outlet?