Actor, writer, director, Ethan Hawke recorded a TED talk in June of this year. I came across it yesterday. So far I’ve watched it three times.
One of the key themes he mentions is this, being an artist is about trying to make sense of the world.
It is the purpose, or role, of creatives is to try and make sense of all of the emotions and experiences of life and then communicate them to others.
‘Others’ might only be an audience of one, or ten thousand. It doesn’t matter, because we – as receivers of creative output – are constantly sifting to find that filter which makes the most sense of the world to us.
As an actor Hawke mentions that he has played good guys and bad guys, priests and sinners, and these characters are lenses which focus on situations in life. They are guides or warnings to us.
Hawke urges us to seek out what we love and then get as close to it as we can.
He gives the example of going to see the movie Top Gun with his brother. Hawke came out of the movie wanting to be in movies like that and his brother came out wanting to go into the military.
One stimulus but two outcomes.
A dozen creative people can look at the same thing, or event, and you will most likely get a dozen different expressions of that same thing.
Don’t worry if your creative output isn’t the same as other peoples.
Your expression is your filter on life. Other people will want to see the world through that filter.
Hawke also tells us that creativity is communication through which we connect to others.
This is sort of back to the point I made last but it is useful to remind ourselves that when we undertake our creative work it is also communication with others.
Even if that poem we write, or picture we paint, is kept in a locked draw and no one ever sees or reads them, the very act of their creation is us communicating outwardly.
If you haven’t already watched the TED Talk then do it now – if you have watched it already, then tell me you noticed the necklace appearing and disappearing?
(I am still trying to work out if it is significant!)