Robert E. Franken, Author of Human Motivation describes creativity as:
“the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others.’
Whether we see ourselves as creatives by nature or trade, or if we work in a creative industry surrounded by and supporting creatives; how do we define creativity and why is it such a sought after trait? Many of us know that we are creative people. We have hobbies and pass-times that are in the arts like painting or writing music while others, like graphic designers, Are paid to produce original ideas for clients on a daily or weekly basis.
All in all, whether we believe we are in a creative field or not, I believe creativity is a valuable trait which can be learned- producing enormous benefits for our craft and those we serve for a living. In my role as a sound engineer and technician I have to make things work- that’s a given, but if I just stopped there I’d be holding back so much more for the audiences that I cater for. It’s often very comfortable to sit back and allow our quality of work to be merely functional as opposed to great or exceptional. In order to bring things from good to great we really need to pay attention to whatever it is that we have in front of us.
As we begin to construct or execute, we need to have a clear assessment of what we are working with. As creatives we often find this difficult to do. In pro audio there are many (often expensive) tools which are designed to help us analyse how things sound. Ultimately the best tools we have are our God-given ears- our senses provide us with a wealth of information. For most people this information gets transferred into emotional energy and they can only describe the way the music in question makes them feel. For someone making a living in this creative field, our blessing and our curse is that we can recognise and pinpoint small flaws accurately. We have to make changes and the only way to do that is to be able to see clearly and break down the art form that we work within.
Its my belief that whatever we do we should develop such mastery that we continue to make adjustments which are finer and finer- imagine Da Vinci or Monet painting with acute strokes in the final stages of their masterpiece. When we develop our sense of perception in the field that we are in then the small things will stick out to us.
Art in whatever form is a beautiful thing whether that’s music, poetry, photography or any other medium. It’s a shame if that idea is left in its raw form without any thought of structure. I think we’d all agree that good art is a much more immersive and emotive experience when its curators, designers and engineers have been committed to the highest level of quality that they can possibly achieve.
We all know that famous saying about what’s in the detail don’t we? Well the original form of that saying was actually “God is in the detail” not so foreboding! Even when we look at nature, there is so much intricacy and order even right down to the atomic level. A small microcosm of truth that can impact how we approach our work and our craft. What may seem like small obscure details to someone else are the very things that we make it our business to seek out.
” I’m a freelance sound engineer based in Nottingham. I am also an avid lover of photography and visual art, known for taking a lot of photos of my work and seeing systems and the many technical aspects of my job visibly and creatively- as opposed to purely numbers and data. I walk the fine line between being both technical and creative.”
[Photography: © Aston Fearon 2011 & © Clare Richards Photography 2010]
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