article: academic creativity

Taught talent: can we be original if we’re being academically influenced?

This may seem a strange place to start a tangent of thought, so please bear with me.  I recently watched a programme about an aircraft called The Wellington Bomber being built in under 24 hours during World War II.

Men were away on the front line fighting for Queen and country, this left many empty job roles needing to be filled. Women became the working force of the country, fulfilling duties previously only carried out by the men. Dozens of previously inexperienced women were now doing ‘the men’s jobs’.

The programme followed a group of mostly female workers successfully building a Wellington Bomber in 24 hours; interviews with the women revealed they had no prior exposure or experience within the manufacturing world and came from housewife-ness. Once trained, they showed skill, aptitude and genuine talent for engineering, engaging in all aspects of manufacture. Impressive.

Not only displaying great girl power, (I wonder what happened after the men returned. Did they lose their jobs? Did they mind?) the programme left me thinking – with the right amount of training and experience, could anyone could do any job? Can we individually be taught anything, even creative pursuits?  Now-a-days, streams of creative courses are available for us to enrol on.

From creative writing to creative photography, we can sit among fellow students and listen to wise tutors fill us with creative insights; we can write essays on novelists and art movements. Does this create creativity? Is a degree, for example, a valid method of pursing a creative career? Perhaps we should simply find our own way into the world of fine art photography and follow our own feet instead of falling into other’s footsteps.

These are just short Sunday thoughts about the world of taught talent. I’ll post something a bit more concrete soon.

I’ll leave you with the result of my week’s contrast captures:

Now. Would you rather eat a Dime Bar with a spoon or a Crème Egg with a fork?

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