Is A Creative Education Bad for Creativity?

This question is a little ambiguous since we all have to start somewhere and not all creativity is natural or instinct. Things have to be learnt. Techniques discovered, manufacture skills perfected and the valid guidance of experienced artists sought.  I do believe however that every artsy person is by nature their own type of creative and that suppressing ones individuality is a no. Art should be progressive and expressive, not subservient.

After three years as a mature student at post graduate level I have become very much aware of the academic nature of modern day creative education. As someone who had already defined themselves in their style, direction, strengths and weaknesses it was hard to be put back into the place of a novice and told how to be acceptably creative by people who were in fact not that far removed from myself.

What if your lecturer doesn’t like your style? Will your work be marked down because of it? Well to be honest, there is a chance that you will. I know this not only from personal experience (I was advised on more than one occasion to design what the course required of me, not what I wanted to create) but also from arts graduates around me in other genres who felt pressured to design what was expected of them rather than what was their natural leaning.

I have no issue with creative novices getting an education and being guided and encouraged to flourish. But dictating what is art and how you should create is in my mind doing our creative future an injustice. Art is what it is. It comes in many forms. It should never just tow the line. Should a fashion student be told how or what to design because of the lecturers background? Should end of year statistics dictate how  a student gets graded in any sphere because department heads are worried about Government figures and course funding?

The absorption of creative courses into the academic system may well have been a mistake. Many lament the polytechnic, the apprenticeship, skills no longer taught through generations of skilled artisans but in sterile university atmospheres. You cannot assess these students in the same way as a maths or science post graduate. Creativity has different rules. And art proves that rarely are there any to follow.

Art should never be created for arts sake. It has to have more substance than that, whether it be to popularise a style, make a statement, shock a public. It should never simply be about making money or putting a university one place higher in the league tables.

A creative should always be true to their own abilities, their own style. It’s why art is diverse.

Creative expression is based on your experiences, not other people's expectations (source)

Creative expression is based on your experiences, not other people’s expectations (source)

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One response to “Is A Creative Education Bad for Creativity?

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