Creativity in Highly Eminent Individuals

Google test aside, the lovely fruit that highly eminent creative individuals have produced represents the finest mankind has to offer itself. The depth and breadth of human creativity, especially from the truly powerful creative is astounding. And those works generally regarded at that level usually don’t include much outside the white Eurocentric world. See, Maori culture and woodcarvings for just a taste of what Polynesia has to offer or Cycladic sculpture of the Aegean.

Leave it to the Greeks, who spent far too much time drinking wine while laying on their backs coming up with creative diagrams of the heavens to glorify the effect of the muse on creativity. So many beautiful muses, so diverse over time, and with such a tremendous influence on the creative work of so many eminently creative people. How much does man owe to the incredible creative energy that muses gift to creative souls? Subtract the muses and we are left with little. Paris disappears.

Eminently creative individuals do not choose the subject of their own creations. It is born into them by forces far beyond their control. Picasso could never have switched places with Einstein. Spain made Picasso and Austria Einstein. They are both eminently creative people, but with different wiring. The thing they do share is a lowered resistance to resistance. It’s all so fluid, so fast, with interconnectedness to nature, few boundaries, and little no physical resistance to subject or substance. Gertrude Stein said of Picasso, “no one had ever tried to express things seen not as one knows them but as they are when one sees them without remembering having looked at them”. Who does that? Einstein painted physics and math in his mind; it was a game, play, and an exercise to him.

Instability via lots of expression. . . .

Eminently creative individuals are almost always very prolific souls, often troubled in many ways. But researchers have it backwards when they try to connect volumes of work to the likelihood of achieving creative eminence. Eminently creative individuals produce at such high volumes because of a rare combination of human components that come together in these types of people. In addition to the fluidity of mind and lowered resistance-to-resistance, they poses a burning desire to empty themselves of what they inherently know or believe is inside themselves before they go. Again, Gertrude Stein on Picasso, “he is a man who always has need of emptying himself, of completely emptying himself, it is necessary that he should be greatly stimulated so that he could be active enough to empty himself completely”. Picasso could take ethnographic sculpture from Africa, process it through his creative genius, incorporate it with other disparate elements and come up with completely unique works like, Les Demoiselles dAvignon 1907.

Eminently creative individuals are often rebellious characters trapped in a world they didn’t make, can’t control and can barely function in. They reject they world as it is presented to them, endeavor to create one that makes more sense to them, even if they are the only ones who get it. This exercise is often fueled by alcohol and other substances, it seems to grease the creative wheels even more. These people have little concern for what society would call boundaries. They are willing to confront norms that most people just placidly accept, they are often courageous, difficult, don’t listen well, or pretend and then disregard what others have to say. They are often not afraid to ruffle the feathers of those who don’t get it, and they can be unworldly in their persistence.

But this does necessarily make them unstable or even crazy. It’s a reaction to the world around them. To a man, or woman, if you asked them, they would say they are more aware of their own insanities than most, and what passes for “normal” is often insane to them. Van Gogh’s arc of color changes that persisted throughout his life from the deep Rembrandt browns of Amsterdam to the bold colors of Paris to the brilliant pastel hues of the south of France that he is most known for are as intuitive understanding of the science of light on nature as anything science has come up with. Certainly he was eminently creative and everyone easily acknowledges his madness. But was he really? Eating your paints because you are staving or committing acts of violence while being driven mad by friends and felines is a pretty common occurrence if you care to look at society. The fact that he captured it so brilliantly in color, so quickly is not insanity, it’s a perception to the natural world around him. So was him taking his own life. Did that make him crazy?

Eminently creative individuals in this world are an anomaly. A beautiful, unpredictable, creative, anomaly.