The multi-faceted creative, as pondered by Alex Koplin of H/34 and Moodgadget.
There is an appealing, raw quality to the art of the still fresh and less experienced.
No, I am not talking about how scores of illustrators get paid to draw like five-year-olds, but the energy you can feel when you look at the work of truly creative people in their formative stages.
Who are these people?
They are the people who have an idea and take it two leaps ahead to see it to realization without having any prior experience in doing so. They are the artists who are making perpetual learning experiences out of each and every one of their projects.
Over the past five years, I have had the privilege of being involved in making albums, films, videogames, and magazines, each to varying levels of success, but most definitely projects that were released in some way to the public. I entered into each of these projects with one simple (and infinitely enabling) advantage - my raw perspective. I had an idea, I wanted to see it realized, and I wanted others to experience it. Plain and simple.
It is like…I can have an idea come to me, sometimes by seeing something, or, more recently, by listening to music. I can see it clear as day while seeing nothing surrounding it that could keep me from actualizing it. I know nothing of barriers nor constraints.
There is certainly a side of this raw creative power that comes with a measure of naivety due to not having much experience in process or efficiency, but, with time, skills are honed, and new, unique perspectives begin to manifest themselves and add to our collective creative output. Accordingly, I suppose, life takes its course - new families take shape and constraints and barriers show up, bringing with them new sources of inspiration and new perspectives to discover. But those who come to recognize, to respect, and to learn to refine their talents and passions, I hope, carry the profits of these learning experiences with them for their entire lives.
A trend I think we are starting to see these days, especially in my generation, is the rise of the multi-faceted creative artist. It’s absolutely undeniable that the advent of the computer and the internet changed the face of creative expression forever, both for better or worse. There is a big debate to be had about all that, but I would rather not take sides. Instead, I would like to present a few of my own thoughts and opinions about the multi-faceted creative artist.
Multi-faceted creative artist is usually synonymous with someone who has not yet quite decided or discovered what they want to do with their life.
I became a multi-faceted creative artist because of the raw energy and explorative passion described above. Also, because being a multi-faceted creative artist is not about whether or not the artist of today has the expertise that could previously be obtained only through years of training, but is about the strength of the artist’s motivation to express an idea, regardless of medium. It used to take years to learn new mediums, but in today’s world, thanks to computer programs that simplify the workflow with precision and logic, new mediums can often be learned in as little as a day of intense study. For instance, it generally does not take more than a solid eight hours of hard learning to pick-up on using a program like Photoshop, After Effects, or Ableton Live. This is definitely not enough time to master any one of these crafts, or, moreover, to learn how to truly communicate to a larger audience by using these skills. The point is, however, that today’s artists can begin working in a new medium in a matter of hours. These programs are weakening boundaries and creativity is then bursting through them.
However, a multi-faceted creative artist is not just an artist that works in different mediums. It has been said that in the design world of tomorrow simply being a “maker” will not pay the bills. A multi-faceted creative artist has some business sense, might know how to strategize, or may have social networking down to a science. It is no longer just about making something beautiful, it is also about navigating the tumultuous seas of distraction and of uninspired, unoriginal creative work in order to gain exposure for truly good work. This is where it actually gets funny, because the best, truest art is not supposed to be created with exposure or money in mind. The best work comes straight from the heart and soul, but that alone may no longer be enough to satisfy or support the multi-faceted creative artist.
The creative world has exploded in many ways. The definition of creativity has shifted. It has expanded, taken on a number of new forms, and is playing an increased role in the everyday lives of people everywhere. Social networking sites that incorporate creative articulation have given people from the younger generations the ability to form communities, give feedback, and start collective projects with people from around the world they never would have met otherwise. They are building new relationships, both friendly and not-so-friendly.
This means that there is a lot more creative output for all to see, and I bet the vast majority of it is being produced by folks under thirty. The creative playing field has not quite been flattened, but it has been expanded considerably.
DeviantArt, for example, used to prominently boast the millions of images being uploaded constantly. That counter made my stomach turn. How is one to even begin to appreciate a fraction of the really good work that exists within that huge number? How do we define what separates the amazing from the mediocre? Is beauty still in the eye of the beholder or has it been handed over to the page view counter?
People are out there adding to this vast number for a wide range of reasons. Some want recognition and attention, others want to escape reality, and others do it simply to get ideas out of their head. The multi-faceted creative artist has likely experienced many different types of communities and networks, grappled with these various priorities, and carried many friends away from these creative forays. But to me, and to those like me, there is no end in sight, no clearly stated ultimate goal.
There is only the next project. The next learning opportunity. The next idea that comes to mind.
Alex Koplin, 23, lives in Philly, but his overflowing creativity is always taking him into previously unknown creative waters. This MFC holds his own as a graphic designer, photographer, videographer, video game designer, DJ, and writer. You want more Alex? Check H43DUP for work and BLOG.H34 for thoughts and playlists.