Slow Time

June 24th, 2010

I love this quote by Albert Brooks about the internet and its effect on creativity that I found on Creative Creativity:

“I think the internet is slowly going to take down all creativity. Great art of any kind needs a gestation period. It needs a period where people keep their opinions to their fucking selves. You take any artist from the history of the world, from Michelangelo to Bozo the Clown – and if you can have widespread opinion on their first time out, you can kill the great spark that makes them who they are. That is what the internet is allowing. It’s allowing millions of opinions on Day One. It’s almost like, if you show me your newborn baby, and I do complete genetic testing, and I tell you in the first week of your baby’s life that he’s going to make $18,000 a year and work in Africa and be an explorer, and he’s gonna get bitten by a tiger, and there’s a good chance he’s gonna have leukemia. I’m gonna take the joy out of his early child birthdays. Large amounts of opinion too early in an artist’s life is like a cancer.”

Right now I have the TV on, I’m blogging and I’m making notes at the same time. Tomorrow I will pack up my computer, throw in some magazines and books and try to read, research and write at the same time. It just doesn’t work. I love technology — I want an iPad and a new computer and instant feedback on my blog — but it’s screwing with my brain. Maybe my brain will adapt, but what will be lost in the process? Long lunches over crazy ideas, unplugged daydreams, quiet do-nothing afternoons. What do you think? Agree? Disagree? On the fence?

2 Responses to “Slow Time”

  1. Becky says:

    I agree. Recently I participated in Creativity Boot Camp. Gosh dang it, before I knew what had happened I was getting comments, reading them, and focusing more on what other people thought than what I was feeling myself. It interfered with my creativity and how I expressed it each day. I simply wanted to attend boot camp and learn something about myself and it became much bigger than that ~ all because of comments. I’ve decided that the next time I participate in something like that I’m going to turn off comments and simply DO.

  2. I’ve been blogging for five years, and it’s taught me to take both praise and criticism with a grain of salt. Criticism only represses creativity when an artist lets opinion direct the work.

    The Internet has shown me there is a place for everyone. Some will like your work. Some will not. I think it’s important to do what you want to do, enjoy the process and the people you meet along the way and know that if your work isn’t getting a response, it’s only because your tribe hasn’t found you yet. I think the “success” of a blog is tied to its visibility (i.e. marketing) or to luck (the right message at the right time going viral).

    I don’t like group creative exercises or workshops or any of that. I find that dynamic stifles my creativity rather than awakens it. I’m a solitary person.

    I’m also not a multi-tasker. When I’m “working” on something, I don’t answer the phone, don’t check e-mail, don’t have the TV on or even play music in the background. Those things distract, rather than energize, me.

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