—By Brandon Rodriguez
Photo credit: https://recollections.biz/blog/mary-shelley-frankenstein-at-200/#iLightbox[gallery6143]/0
What comes to mind when you think of creativity? Is it something that occurs naturally, or a skill learned through experience? The term is best described as applying authentic ideas, especially in the making of artistic work. Of course, everyone has their own interpretation of what creativity means to them.
Creativity has given individuals the ability to master and prosper in both literature and society. In the article “Castles in the Sand: The Creative Urge” by Richard Marranca, “Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, and the Villa Diodati” by Greg Buzwell, and the TED Talk “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” by Sir Ken Robinson, creativity can be influenced by multiple outlets such as nature, personal experiences, and inspiration.
Creativity can be impulsive, spontaneous, and even an epiphany. Creativity derives from curiosity and confidence. Whether it be music, a movie, a book, scenery, or silence, creativity can be random but evolve from anything. Creativity derives from inspiration, experimentation, or experiences. In the article “Castles in the Sand: The Creative Urge,” Richard Marranca provides tremendous insight on what creativity is and how it has been applied throughout history.
In one of Marranca’s paragraphs, he talked about an interview with Allen Ginsberg where he stated that our first thoughts are the best thoughts. Creativity stimulates curiosity. It promotes questions. Creativity is a mystery. Creativity is a trait that exists in each one of us. Often, creativity takes one to a place more significant than initially anticipated.
In the article Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, and the Villa Diodati, Greg Buzwell gives the reader an in-depth description of Mary Shelley’s creative path to writing the famous novel Frankenstein. During the summer of 1816, known as the year without a summer, North America, Europe, and Asia experienced relentless rain and low temperatures that caused
catastrophic crop failure due to the eruption of Mount Tamboro in Indonesia. A world where candles needed to be lit midday to prevent darkness from seizing the light led to an extraordinarily gloomy and depressing period. An author known as Mary Godwin (later known as the famous Mary Shelley) was personally affected by the world’s eerie conditions but was inspired by her environment. Many of her visualizations in her novel directly resulted from her surroundings. Mary Shelley’s reality and life experiences led to the spark of imagination, and with the help of Lord Byron and Dr. Polidori, aided in the process of creating Frankenstein.
In the TED Talk Do Schools Kill Creativity? Sir Ken Robinson provided an intriguing viewpoint on how the education system deprives children of their creative freedom. Today, education and discipline are prioritized above all else –a specific criterion must be followed, limiting the creativity a student can embrace and apply.
"…they watched Gillian move to the music, and the specialist told her mother that she was not sick; rather, she was a dancer." For example, Sir Ken Robinson mentioned a conversation he had with Gillian Lynne in which he asked her how she discovered her talent. She stated that when she was in school in the ‘30s, her teachers believed she had a learning disorder and could not concentrate. Gillian’s mother took her to a specialist to find the diagnosis of her “disorder.” At the end of their conversation, the specialist played music and stepped out of the room with her mother. He then encouraged her to watch Gillian. The minute they stepped out, they watched Gillian move to the music, and the specialist told her mother that she was not sick; rather, she was a dancer. As a result, her mother enrolled her into dancing school, where she was surrounded by people “just like her.” As a result, Gillian was able to freely express herself and thrive through dancing. Not being limited, she found tremendous success in the dancing industry and became a famous choreographer for Phantom of the Opera and more.
There are various ways to manifest creativity. Whether it be from a philosopher or a famous choreographer, it can also be from a college student taking a Composition II class.
Creativity is about finding out who you are and expressing yourself in the most authentic way possible.
Having a sense of originality can help someone find their purpose and allow them to flourish. Through constant success and failure, one will learn how to embrace their uniqueness and individuality.
A wise man once said, “It takes trust in the process, the knowledge that you’ve done it before and will do it again, that life and art are a mutual journey. The only failure in art is in not doing anything” (Marranca 9). Although it can take a significant amount of time to complete a project or task, when it is completed, you know it and can honor it.
Buzwell, Greg. “Mary Shelley, Frankenstein and the Villa Diodati.” British Library, 15 May 2014, https://www.bl.uk/romantics-and-victorians/articles/mary-shelley-frankenstein-and-the-villa-diodati.
Marranca, Richard. “Castles in the Sand: the Creative Urge.” 2011, pp. 1–20.
Robinson, Sir Ken. “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” TED, https://www.ted.com/talks/sir_ken_robinson_do_schools_kill_creativity#t-159999.