What is creativity?

If I want to start a new scene, I don’t think about it very much.  For me, an idea isn’t the result of a brainstorming session.  Ideas come through inspiration.  I will see something, and I will get an idea.  That idea will grow and, eventually, become a full fledged image in my mind.  That image was based on an idea that was based on object.  Can you really say that my image is an original work?  A couple years ago I made this scene:

Pyrate Code

This is a pretty nice scene.  There are a few things I would do differently if I made this picture today.  For the most part, I am very happy with how this turned out.  My inspiration for this scene was another 3D scene I saw on the Art Of Illusion website.

Cartografia – By Nathan Ryan

Cartografia was clearly my inspiration for Pyrate Code.  Both scenes have a wooden surface, a curled map, and a lamp.  When I was working on Pyrate Code, I was aiming for something similar to Cartografia.  Part of me wants to say that my scene isn’t original.  Then again, Nathan Ryan most likely had some sort of inspiration to make his scene.  In that case, you could make the claim that most pieces of art are not original.

Everything that someone creates or designs has been born out of their life long experiences.  Try thinking about something that no one has ever thought of before.  You can’t.  An idea that may seem original will reflect your past experiences in some way or another.  If I want to make a dinosaur, I can’t help but think of Jurassic Park.  It’s like a super power.  Try thinking of a completely unique super power.  That is a very difficult task.  It’s not about the super power anymore, but what the character does with the super power.

Creativity is found in the subtle details surrounding the inspiration.

I think that makes a lot of sense.  Putting a wooden surface, a map and a lamp in a scene is not creativity.  What you do with the object is the creative part.  Look at Pyrate Code.  Do you see where the compass chain lays on the map?  The weight of the chain is holding the edge of the map in place.  It was a clever idea that I didn’t think about during the conception stage.  Once the core of the scene is decided, the creativity can begin.

Inspiration breeds creativity.

I have learned that creativity is not something that can be forced.  If you’re not feeling creative, you just haven’t been inspired yet.  Even if you started copying someone else’s work, you will not end up with the same result.  You will find ways to personalize it.  You will also find parts of it that don’t fit your personality.  Feel free to change those parts.  That is creativity.

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