What do you need with me?
(The creative mind verses technical artistic skillsets)
At this writing I am 59 years old. And though I have been focused on creative endeavors for most of my life, I discovered a little known secret only a few years ago.
Learning to paint, sculpt, photograph, etc.
If you decided this afternoon that you wanted to be an artist, what would you do first? Most people might seek out some art classes in their area and learn about paint, brushes, canvases, etc. followed by the manners and nuances of painting a nice landscape or still life. As with anything else, becoming proficient requires lots of practice as a matter of course. It is a never-ending education, with new revelations surfacing in each and every painting. Now imagine that these are simply the tools in the imagined toolbox you carry with you as a creative “artist”. They are nothing more than that.
The Creative Mind
Think of the Creative mind as a muscle. In order for it to develop it must be exercised routinely. It needs to feel “uncomfortable” regularly, for that is the only way it can grow. Natural creative abilities are a rare find, indeed. So most of us have to go through years of creative exertion and training, with an insatiable desire to learn the why’s and wherefore’s of design and consequence. Unfortunately, most students emerging from college with a degree bent toward the arts are equipped with adequate artistic technical skillsets but when it comes to creativity, they’ve only just now been pushed out of the nest. Only years of application in a variety of scenarios will yield the level of creative mind that can magically astound.
Yet pitfalls linger behind every corner
In the beginning, as an aspiring artist becomes adept at their chosen medium, (paint, sculpture, etc.), they easily fall into routine of painting merely to show that they can do it well. (this is why you see a plethora of landscapes at art shows, but not very much in the way of truly creative or innovative art).
On the other end of the scope, if a creative mind in later years is not challenged or is no longer thirsty for discovery, it tends to lean back on one or more of it’s best accomplishments and loses the agility that comes with regular exercise.
Both of these scenarios is easily avoided by choosing a career in design that challenges on a daily basis. A sharp creative mind is a force to be reckoned with as it never stops growing, drinking in everything it witnesses before storing it away fro use when the need arises. An experienced creative mind is, simply put, massive and awe-inspiring.
Flex your Creative Muscle!
There are a multitude of artists out there who want nothing more than to use you for a wall on which to paint their wildest visions, or make their latest idea of a political statement, etc. It's not that they are mislead or wrong to desire this approach, but it stands in the shadow of what murals are really all about.
Whether your the owner of a grocery store with a large blank wall, or a homeowner with a dining room wall that has no windows, a mural begins with you. You may not have a clear understanding of what would please you, or any idea of how it might look when it's finished. But a well directed series of questions asked by a creative mind can usually fish it out of you.
Then, armed with that information, the muralist should be able to translate your input into a cohesive project with all of the flair and style for which you chose that muralist in the first place.
Believe it or not, murals that are to be painted on the outside of commercial buildings actually belong to the community. Their design should encompass local history, predominant ethnicity, local concerns, etc. In fact, in most cases the building owner is merely loaning his wall to the cause/project. And in most cases he/she is rewarded for doing so with increased patronage or simply accolades from their community. In fact, murals of this type are commonly funded by groups, individuals, grants and other sources.
The point is that the content of an outside mural must be endured by the local community. It would be unfair then, to paint subject matter that is foreign or uninteresting to them.