Friday, 23 January 2009


Creativity, its one of those words isn't it, over complicated and simplified alike. What is creativity exactly? Wikipedia states that it is:

"Creativity is a mental and social process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts, or new associations of the creative mind between existing ideas or concepts. An alternative conception of creativeness is that it is simply the act of making something new."

Google Define simply states, it is:

"The ability to create"

Yet Ironically, I find as I start to work on this blog post, I am somehow losing my creativity. While I am 'perfectly able to create' and I am still 'generating ideas and concepts', I just don't want too.

And Sometimes I really think that is what the essence of creativity is. Creativity is 'wanting' to build something new, the desire to 'taste' the finished product. For me as a 3d artist, creativity is wanting to 'taste' the sensory orgasm that is, seeing the result of my hard work. Creativity is me thinking of better ways of saying simple things, intentionally working my brain harder to produce better. When did you last hear the phrase 'sensory orgasm' for Christs sake? To be creative is to intentionally work hard to achieve something to be proud of. To be 'original', to be 'remarkable' such feats are products of ones creativity, and desire to create.

Creativity is an emotional state, and of course, all emotional states change, they vary in intensity and different people react to different states more. But can restrictions halt creativity? I say no, in fact, I truly believe that restrictions are the very birthplace of creativity. If creativity is the desire to accomplish something new and something better, surely a restriction is merely a goal, a target, a specification of the task at hand?

We are all creative, in the games industry, everyone is creative. programmers want to create the next best physics engine, artists want to produce the best looking piece of art, developers are driven to create the best game idea since the dawn of games. Everyone can be creative in their respective field. Hell, even homeless people can be creative - In San Diego I met a homeless guy that had jokes written on a sheet of card, he would read them out and pull a funny face, he would give people an applicable compliment. He was being creative, he was doing what other homeless guys do, but better, in a new and original way, and hell it worked, I gave him a $10 bill.

As individuals we are creative, but it goes without saying that we aren't all creative. Some do what is necessary to get by, some aren't driven to achieve the best, some are. A modern game can have an amazingly creative and enthusiastic 3d artist, but a sullen and uninspired art director who doesn't give the creative one the room to shine. This would hold the potential of a game back, and is why it goes without saying that the most enthusiastic developers get the influential jobs.

Take Ben Mathis for example. Mr motivation himself. Recently walked into senior character artist at CCP Games (eve online). Creates hundreds of models for the damn sake of it, enters competitions for the fun of it. He just wants to create, he is creative, he isn't waiting for a job, he's making one for himself.

As an artist, in a competitive industry, where the creative flourish and the mediocre are fizzled out, it is imperative that I am creative. Thankfully, I feel that my love of the subject will be a useful driving force. I must be more than I am required to be. I must design twice as much as asked. More importantly, I must WANT. I must WANT to get better, desire feeds creativity. When a model is complete, I must ask myself how it can be better, compare it to current industry standards, and then do it again (time permitting of course).

All said and done, will I be able to create two of everything? probably not, time is scarce and creativity is a mental state. But it is important to aim high.

If you aim for the stars you will land on a cloud.