The Trouble with Different

Fish2TCeramic artist Eva Zeisel, whose work has been recognised by the Museum of Modern Art as masterpieces of contemporary design, says this about ‘being different’. “This idea to be different is not my aim, and shouldn’t be anybody’s aim. … you can’t always try to be different. I mean different from different from different. …and no creative thought or created thing grows out of a negative impulse. A negative impulse is always frustrating. And to be different means not like this and not like that.” (From “Creativity – Flow & the Psychology of Discovery & Invention”, author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) Perhaps some artists have been confused on this issue, and it may explain why some recent art is different, but not inspiring. Truly valuable creative work seem to be a mix of drawing from past worthy creations, and bringing an original twist or addition to it. How can a visual artist hope to make great art, if they are unwilling to study the great art that has gone before? Just for fun, here’s a link to see some of Eva’s pottery –  Pottery images Eva Zeisel