You Gotta Admire Them Skills

Mon, Nov 9, 2009

Blogs, Fearless Creativity

You Gotta Admire Them Skills

Skill is math already proven.  Not only are skills easy for culture to appreciate, our education from pre-K is about skill development and learning the rules.  We have standards, objectives and tests.  Skill is linear, owning them isn’t unique except to say one has more than another or that their skills are good.

Exercising skills is pure joy – it keeps us focused and present. Honing our skills is a gratifying obsession, we feel accomplished, connected, validated, invincible.  Einstein may talk of a space time continuum, but when chasing a skill, creatives know a space of time suspension.

Expertise in a medium awards us the key to static free communication.  Yet, just because we have a clear channel doesn’t mean we sit in silence expecting to reveal a meaningful message, insight or emotion. An intangible “non-skill” aptitude is involved – a capacity that is near impossible to define.

Skills can also be camouflage as if to say, “No need to be vulnerable, my skills will blow them away.” The judgment we inform is the true value add, nonetheless it follows that once we start thinking beyond our dexterity we risk paralysis: “if only I was better, I could express myself”.  It’s like using unproven math; the danger of being discovered false is dreadful.

An accomplished photographer carries skills that allow him to improvise –results aren’t fully conceived until they are – adding value occurs along the journey to completion.  Yet, as a less than accomplished musician, when I pick up a guitar and play tunes that I’ve learned – this finger here, those  fingers there – the end result at best, is predetermined. Variation is disappointing for its lack of skill.

It’s not until I achieve enough skill can I deviate from my note by note progression.  Once I do though, the result is my version of a tune or my interpretation of a scene in the case of photography. With good judgment, I have not lost the emotional connection intrinsic to the song but enhanced it so the audience feels mine and not an imitation of the composer’s expression.

Do we really need to “go beyond” or break rules?  Perhaps we can’t have too much skill; yet, on balance we can lose what is creatively vital to our work – i.e. Aesthetic judgment.  Breaking rules can simply mean breaking your individual pattern or combining thoughts, experiences or offering a feeling through merging old tested skills.

Being discouraged because of a lack of breakthrough creativity is to fail completely.

All this is to say, don’t let skill get in the way of expression but rather, use skills to gain access to spectators. Be sure you have something to say. The genuine value is in the message but without delivery it’s harder to discern your voice.    -by Bruce DeBoer

Can I make a big deal out of a simple thought or what?  I included the Rembrandt because I simply can’t fathom the skill of his brush.  I included the video of Charlie Rose talking with Chuck Close because he touches on a pivotal point I’m trying to make.

Art, Artistic Expression, Craft, emotional, Skill, Talent, Video

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