Warning: This post contains spoilers for Parks & Recreation (season 3), The Office (UK) Christmas Special and Amy Poheler’s book Yes Please.
Yes, I take spoilers very seriously. Anyway, onto the post. If you’re still reading.
I was up to the Parks & Rec chapters from Yes Please on my way home from work one day. It’s such a small part of the book but I find the insights into their creativity in that section are huge.
Anyway, I naturally put Parks & Rec on when I got home that day.
It’s the little quirks they write into the story & characters that are so good. I like that Ben & Leslie are adversaries when they meet. I love that Ben first really shows he likes Leslie not when she’s dressed up, but as an adversary and when she’s sick. I like how positive influencing others through writing is seen, that they want to make people feel happy, and how the example used is of that overwhelming “yes” at the end of The Office (UK) when Dawn comes back in and kisses Tim. It’s about making people feel in a good way.
The Value Of Passion In Your Art
This has been twigging all over the internet for me this year so far. I’ve linked to some of my favourite articles.
@Woogsworld I was thinking about people who create with true passion while reading today. So I love your comment here.
— Vanessa Smith (@normal_ness) January 11, 2016
I want to be inspired. I want to feel. To laugh, to cry, to explore, to be challenged, to learn. I want to see my own experience mirrored in another person’s words. I want to read an eloquent summary of random things that have been swimming around in my own head. I want to read about lives that are completely distant to my own. I want to be amused by a collection of anecdotes. I want to read things that make me stop and think and examine my own life and beliefs. I want doors and windows flung open through the power of words.
I think learning not to react to everything you feel is also really valuable when it comes to creativity. You don’t have to capture every idea in case it’s the great big successful one that gets away. You will have lots of bad ideas before you have a good idea. Sometimes you need to act on bad ideas to learn, other times you can just file them away as a thought you needed to have, not a thought you needed to act upon.
Disclaimer: as someone with shiny object syndrome, I can TOTALLY understand how hard this is to do.
Therefore, is controlling shiny object syndrome part of the value of passion In your art?
Does your inspiration come and go? Do you feel like a vessel for it, rather than it being part of you?
I retweeted this article on art and education and something twigged. Art can be a creation for the sake of creation. It probably shouldn’t always be, but just because art is also a statement, has critical undertones and reasonings doesn’t mean that ALL art should have that.
Pure creation is also a valid method of creating art.
How this relates to me…
In high school, I had a love/hate (mostly hate, because I was a teenager and that’s what teenagers do) relationship with poetry.
We would read something in class and have to analyse it. On at least one occasion (but knowing me, many occasions) I answered the “what did it make you feel” questions with “nothing” and then got told off by the teacher because “that isn’t an answer”, and apparently I wasn’t allowed to be bored and uninspired by it.
Now, I know they were introducing us to a topic, a way of thinking, a new medium and what not. But in analysing the poem, you can’t make up what you feel, or in my case, didn’t feel. You can talk about tone, language, rhythm, author’s influences, …many aspects of the poem. But you can’t make someone feel if they don’t feel it.
Not feeling something for a work of art is not bad. It just means it wasn’t for you. That’s cool. Tick it off as a learning experience and try a different author, style, genre, medium…there’s a lot out there.
Do you know what you are really, truly passionate about in your creativity?