As a species, we are a creative bunch ~ curious, inventive and innovative. Faced with obstacles and challenges, we make tools, find solutions and create alternatives. Often, we play with what we’ve made, explore, and expand on what came before.
Sometimes, we end up reinventing the wheel. Or we build a better mousetrap that benefits others. But once in a while, our explorations may push past certain boundaries, for better or worse.
What are the limits of creative expression? We may think that life would be better if we were free from all constraints, but when we try to live in the land of too many options, we can often lose depth and focus.
Sometimes, working within specific parameters can activate our ingenuity, free our creativity, and set a process of mastery into motion we may never have considered before.
However, if we are too restricted in our environment or too rigid in a set perspective, we may get stuck in inconsequential details, derail our momentum, and halt our growth and expansion.
Do we turn the process of working with our limitations into a creative game? Do we turn it into a fight to the death, seeking to push through boundaries at any cost, even if it leads to destruction?
11. LIMITS ~ Creative Constraints
Essay by Katarzyna Vedah. June 1, 2019
Or do we enforce those limits on ourselves, and block or sabotage our own progress and success so as to not be the target of others’ envy or jealousy?
In terms of personal expression, do we have the right to say anything, even if it causes harm to others? Do we value the right to dissent, even if others may use it against us? Are we free to express ourselves in ways that devalue others or steal from them through our words, actions and creations? What are the real consequences, and do we accept the responsibility for the outcomes?
People who challenge accepted limits can be mavericks who reshape and evolve our view of the status quo, exposing social and societal imbalances or broadening our scope of what is possible.
But people who challenge certain boundaries can also be hostile and repressive forces that end up restraining perspectives and exchange, benefiting personally from a situation while exploiting others’ individual rights and freedoms.
When it comes to our creative lives and personal expression, moderation and discernment can serve us well. Certain limiting factors can trigger new ways to approach old problems, boundaries can act as frameworks, and constraints can be grounding when faced with too many options or limitless possibilities.
On the other hand, being too stuck in guidelines, ground rules, and rigid perspectives can cut us off from new vistas that could enhance our lives and expand our world view.
Self-expression is a powerful act that can ripple out into the world. How we choose to express ourselves says something about us ~ and what we put out into the public sphere has an impact, on ourselves as well as others, whether we know it or not. It is how we make our mark on the world.
How will you leave yours?
The Difference: Art & Craft (TED-Ed)
Weaving (National Geographic)
All in a Bind (Channel 4 News)
Zen of Knitting (60 Second Docs)
VIDEO (YouTube): TED
WEB ARTICLE: Unbound
How To Be A Craftivist. Sarah Corbett
Swap-O-Rama-Rama (Hip Line Media)
The Next Maker Movement (Make:)
The True Cost (Andrew Morgan)
A Time For Making (Phillip Vannini)
Maker (Mu-Ming Tsai)
Print the Legend (Lopez & Tweel)
CREATIVE INSPIRATIONS TO ENGAGE THE CAPACITY TO FEEL
FILM / VIDEO (YouTube): Trailer
Be Kind Rewind (Michel Gondry)
TV SERIES / VIDEO (YouTube):
Going Postal (Acorn Media)
Severance (Apple TV)
ARTIST / SHOWCASE / VIDEO (YouTube):
Memory Palace (Vancouver Art Gallery)
MUSIC / VIDEO (YouTube):
Jack Kirby (Comic Book Girl 19)
Scott McCloud (PBS NewsHour)
BOOK REVIEW / VIDEO: Stumcm
HEALTHY MENTAL OUTLOOK & PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY
Uses of Envy (School of Life)
Creative Jealousy (Sean Tucker)
Why Fans Turn to Haters (Teal Swan)
Envy & Fairness (Emotion Dynamics)
Intersectionality (Peter Hopkins)
Discrimination (Crash Course)
Prejudice (Crash Course)
Implicit Bias (TED)
BOOK: F*ck No! Sarah Knight
Set Strong Boundaries (Christina Lopes)
Boundaries with the Universe (Teal Swan)
Freedom or Irresponsibility? (Teal Swan)
PRACTICAL REINFORCEMENT FOR SELF-CARE & DAY-TO-DAY LIVING
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY &
THE CREATIVE COMMONS
VIDEO (YouTube): Crash Course
VIDEO (YouTube): Tom Scott
VIDEO (YouTube): TED
EXPANDING PERSPECTIVES, AWARENESS & CONSCIOUSNESS
OUT OF BOUNDS:
The Art of Death
Aesthetics (Crash Course)
(This is Genius)
VIDEO (YouTube): Ask a Mortician
VIDEO (YouTube): TED Talk
VIDEO: NOTICE: Graphic Post Mortem Content
(UC San Francisco)
(Original Body Worlds)
(Ask a Mortician)
VIDEO (YouTube): Journeyman Pictures