Your Creative Beginners Mind

Mon, Dec 7, 2009

Blogs, Fearless Creativity

Your Creative Beginners Mind

Allow me to lower the bar. Originality, the origin of which is you, is rooted in self expression. I helped teach a few years of Photography 101 on the college level years ago. Not much stuck with me except for one distinct pattern. Nearly all students where eventually infected with a malady; It was apparent that we educated the originality out of our students. It’s important to bear in mind that these were art students eager to develop their professional creative skills.

We say we want to be individuals, but more so, we want to belong to tribes – plural: recreational, professional, artistic, religious, not only social. Our tribes put very narrow restrictions on us. These restrictions might include dress, speech or belief but I’m mostly concern with performance in my tribe. I want to surround myself with greatness and count my social currency.

Everyone wants to “play up”, like owning the smallest home in an upwardly mobile neighborhood; hope says we’ll cash in. Remove yourself from culture too far and it quickly moves beyond subculture into outcast. Moreover, being tops in the midst of lameness is scarcely as attractive; an outcast of greatness? No thank you, anything outside culture is “crazy” and wrong in the ways of greatness.

In contrast, as an individual you long to assassinate culture. Culture believes its own lies and you’re looking for truth. The tools we use to fulfill a need for community are exactly those that restrain individuality. Truth remains the best strategy for originality, yet to communicate with your culture of greatness one must adopt its lies. Wait, I’m feeling dizzy.

To assassinate culture is to change it and challenge the immutable. The demands of culture will cause you to lose possibilities and your greatness is the biggest demand. Are you seeking originality or greatness? Though not mutually exclusive, one is a strict conformist and the other is not.

To solve the impasse, create an argument between your changes and the immutable.  Leverage the tension by telling a story that fills the breach. Everyone loves a good story.

To find the truth, accept information without judgment; don’t believe the lies. Adopt beginners mind to examine your culture. Avoid losing your original attitude for your art. The limitless meaning and freshness was what my college victims were taught to abandon. We were teaching greatness not originality.

A ready mind equates to infinite possibilities. In an experts mind there are few; never say you are an expert.  You are always a beginner.*

- by Bruce DeBoer

*paraphrased from Shunryu Suzuki

Artistic Expression, Beginners Mind, Creativity, Culture, Greatness, Originality, Passion

4 Responses to “Your Creative Beginners Mind”

  1. Rasmus Says:

    Great post. Only slightly related, but it reminds me of the best compliment I got when I studied photography. It was given to me when I told one of my teachers that I had decided to drop out after two years. He said: It’s a shame you’re leaving, but having seen your work, if you stick with it I’m sure you’ll do fine without us.

    If the entire education had stimulated that – the individual expression and originality – I would’ve never left.

  2. electric Vibrator Says:

    I think what you composed was very logical. However, think about
    this, suppose you composed a catchier title?
    I am not saying your information isn’t solid., but suppose you added a headline to possibly grab folk’s attention?
    I mean Your Creative Beginners Mind | Permission To Suck is kinda plain.
    You could glance at Yahoo’s front page and note how they create news headlines to get people to click. You might add a related video or a picture or two to get people excited about what you’ve got to say.
    Just my opinion, it could bring your website a little bit more interesting.

  3. holiday accommodation Says:

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know
    so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than
    that, this is magnificent blog. A great read. I’ll certainly be back.


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LnBlcm1pc3Npb250b3N1Y2submV0L3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMTMtcHRzLWxvZ28taGVhZGVyLTEuanBnIjtpOjc7czo3OToiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5wZXJtaXNzaW9udG9zdWNrLm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzEyLXB0cy1sb2dvLWhlYWRlci0xLmpwZyI7aTo4O3M6Nzc6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cucGVybWlzc2lvbnRvc3Vjay5uZXQvd3AtY29udGVudC93b29fdXBsb2Fkcy8xMS1wdHMtbG9nby1oZWFkZXIuanBnIjtpOjk7czo3NzoiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5wZXJtaXNzaW9udG9zdWNrLm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzEwLXB0cy1sb2dvLWhlYWRlci5qcGciO2k6MTA7czo3NjoiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5wZXJtaXNzaW9udG9zdWNrLm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzktcHRzLWxvZ28taGVhZGVyLmpwZyI7aToxMTtzOjc2OiJodHRwOi8vd3d3LnBlcm1pc3Npb250b3N1Y2submV0L3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvOC1wdHMtbG9nby1oZWFkZXIuanBnIjtpOjEyO3M6NzY6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cucGVybWlzc2lvbnRvc3Vjay5uZXQvd3AtY29udGVudC93b29fdXBsb2Fkcy83LXB0cy1sb2dvLWhlYWRlci5qcGciO2k6MTM7czo3NjoiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5wZXJtaXNzaW9udG9zdWNrLm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzYtcHRzLWxvZ28taGVhZGVyLmpwZyI7aToxNDtzOjc2OiJodHRwOi8vd3d3LnBlcm1pc3Npb250b3N1Y2submV0L3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvNS1wdHMtbG9nby1oZWFkZXIuanBnIjtpOjE1O3M6NzY6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cucGVybWlzc2lvbnRvc3Vjay5uZXQvd3AtY29udGVudC93b29fdXBsb2Fkcy80LXB0cy1sb2dvLWhlYWRlci5qcGciO2k6MTY7czo3ODoiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5wZXJtaXNzaW9udG9zdWNrLm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzMtcHRzLWxvZ28tdHlwZW9ubHkuanBnIjt9PC9saT48bGk+PHN0cm9uZz53b29fdmlkZW9fY2F0ZWdvcnk8L3N0cm9uZz4gLSBJbnRlcnZpZXdzPC9saT48L3VsPg==