Being immersed in the art world and surrounded by artistic/creative people, I am able to observe keenly the difference between skill and creativity. Both components are important for my art-making process. Skill is the repeated action, practised with the impossible goal of perfection. I believe anyone can build a skill, regardless of how daunting it may seem before you begin. Skill is the base on which you build your expression of creativity, and practising a skill can become a regular routine.
Creativity can be harder to pin down, and develops differently depending on your skill level. Creative desires may fuel skill development, or creativity may blossom as a result of skill development. Artists can experience creativity cycles, where times of great productivity are followed by periods of regeneration. It can seem like the creativity is in control of the artist, but any practising artist knows that creativity is actually just another skill.
Although you can’t always know exactly what will spark new ideas, you can be ready for them. You can research concepts or processes that interest you, reflect on what is important to express, and spend time refining your ideas when they come. There is a misconception that artists dream their ideas, but this is usually not the case. Rather, an artist is frequently engaging with different concepts and ideas, putting in hours, days, weeks, or months of behind the scenes study, thought, and work before producing an object.
You might think this ruins the magic, but for me there is always a special moment when a sculpture or project comes together. I can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing all that work paid off.
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