Creativity is often subjected to contemptuous interpretation, dissection, sceptical analysis to even scathing critical appraisal.
Is it possible to appraise creativity without being judgemental?
Be it a magical burst of colours on canvas, a captivating use of language that conveys the imaginative impression of a writer or a beautiful harmony of auditory and visual stimuli, like in the case of a movie, creativity is inevitably interpreted by the beholder.
Having received a short, thought provoking film from a friend a few months ago, I decided to seek the opinion of the movie from a few dear ones who also had viewed it.
To my pleasant surprise, I received opinions of many myriad shades and colours, some were dark and morbid, while some gushed in their creative assessment of the movie and yet some remained neutral.
Is it the desire to project who we are onto our environment that we understand a movie, art or literary work so differently from another?
Our early years, our beliefs, our culture, our upbringing, the extent of the creative nurturing we had experienced in our growing years all indeed colour our understanding of a film or any artistic creation.
While the opinion of the movie’s protagonist ranged from sympathy to utter disgust, the comprehension of what the director was attempting to convey was lost many a time in the desire to see the “right” and “wrong” of what the message may be. Through the artist’s (in this case director) creative work, there is a powerful effort made to give the viewer an enriching insight through a brief encounter into the imaginative world of its creator.
The question is do we allow ourselves to become more enlightened through the experience of watching a film, art or literary work or do we create a barrier to our growth through our short sighted and narrow minded approach to the understanding of a stimulating creative experience?
Whether a film or creative work of art is providing fleeting entertainment or providing an artistic and compelling experience for you, nothing stops us from enjoying that experience than our desire to “judge” it from our understanding of right and wrong.
How is the analysis of an artistic work different when it is subjected to “critical thinking”?
While we may argue that what we create in the bliss of creative thinking is a reflection of thought, it is when we tragically succumb to our inherent prejudice or other forms of negative thinking while viewing or reading a work of creativity that we lose out on its positive comprehension.
Should our appraisal be based on the desire to think of possibilities to improve it from its current state, it is a reflection of the positive state of “Critical thinking”
Critical thinkers enjoy discussing through healthy yet critical debates or arguments on the quality of the work they see. Their observations are clearly non judgemental and objective. The emphasis is on the rational and the logical matter of the work. Their thinking can be abstract or scientific based on their understanding of the object of discussion.
Last but not least, they do not expect others to accept their understanding and are not provoked by the anger or contempt in others for the subject. Their style of communication remains annoyance free and even courteous as well.
As individuals, our quest for excellence is complimented by our ability to positively and critically think. A mode of thinking that would make us acutely aware of the joy of living.