I was working on a watercolor background painting at the Disney Animation Studio during the production of Lilo & Stitch when someone put a beautifully printed newsletter on my desk. The periodical was a company-wide campaign, full color print on glossy magazine cover stock. The headline read, “Diversity is the Essence of Creativity”.
The moment I saw it, something in me said, “That’s not true.”
By the end of the day, I saw the comment as nothing more than empty politically correct poetry.
Diversity is, at best, a part of the creative process but hardly the essence. Rather, diversity is the essence of variety.
Many colors in a pallet is good for an artist who is about to start a painting; but there are many masterpieces created with only one color. (Look at the study drawings of Da Vinci.)
To give creativity serious thought, the word “adversity” came to mind.
How many times have you had your daily schedule worked out in your head and someone said, “Don’t forget to pick up little Johnny crosstown” or “We have that meeting with the Johnsons, remember?” Or who can forget the immortal words, “The deadline’s been moved up.”
Moments like that get the blood stirring and the creative juices flowing.
Like a good parent, a good artist is a problem solver struggling with an age old questions…
How does one depict beauty?
How does one get a stubborn cap off an old tube of paint?
Problems need creative thought. (Especially if you don’t have pliers.)
Going back to Da Vinci the inventor, when reviewing his work you can see that diversity had little to do with the essence of his creativity. There was clearly something far more gritty and significant that drove the classical genius.
Necessity was the mother of invention.
His study drawings included work on: the helicopter, the parachute, the armored wagon and/or car, a triple barreled canon, and a giant crossbow, to name a few.
Adversity is the essence of creativity, not diversity.
What problems have you had at home that needed creative solutions?
How can you encourage creative thought in your child? Do you allow him the opportunity to wrestle with a problem in order to arrive at a solution or do you swoop in to help? (Maybe too soon?)
(As a side note: You may want to click here for a wonderful short story on the creativity of Da Vinci, and the perseverance of others to fulfill an age old dream.)
By David Murray
Husband to MaryEllen
Dad of 2 boys and 1 girl
1 Corinthians 13 Team Member
Author of the Majesty series and RETROSHOCK