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Creative New York: Why People Love the City

[ NEW YORK, NY - NYC - 2/7/2007 - www.Littleviews.com ]

Sketch from New York's American Museum of Natural History>>  Creative people strive to live in New York, no matter what the cost, because the city deeply fosters creativity. It is the one place in the United States where a person with passions can easily learn, perform, and, ultimately, profit.

Easily? At a minimum, New York supports hundreds of educational resources. These include colleges and universities, trade schools, professional workshops, tutors (acting, film, dancing, music, etc.), and seminars of all types. If you want to learn something, New York is the place. Not only do instructors abound, but they are supported by museums, galleries, libraries, repertory theaters, and several hundred bookstores, as well.

New York is also the media and entertainment capital of the nation. While some forms of TV production are contracting, new forms of media are emerging, with talented people seeking each other out. Nothing grows in isolation (just think about "the birds and the bees"), and nothing in New York City is isolated!

Last, New York has a broad enough audience to support a multitude of ventures. It has everything, from formal theaters and shopping districts to many types of performance spaces, plus parks, sidewalks, and streets. Many enterprising people, in fact, perform in subway cars (although illegal) and others perform beneath the streets in the subway system itself, with talent ranging from tap-dancing troupes to puppeteers to musicians. People even read poetry in front of New York's main library, just for the sake of being heard. Isn't that wonderful?

Six Characteristics of Creative People

There are at least six unique characteristics that are almost always present in the creative people who call New York their home. They:

  • Are transfixed by certain types of things (art, writing, music, storytelling, etc.)
  • Pay close attention to other people who share their interests
  • Copy proven formulas and techniques (known as "learning the craft")
  • Commit their ideas and visions to paper, film, music, or motion
  • Expose their ideas and visions to others
  • Thrive on feedback

Here's a bit more explanation:

Transfixed: Creative people absolutely know what they like, even if they have not yet personally produced it, and strive to attract more of the same to themselves. While the process of being creative is often chaotic because the object of affection is not yet whole, the desires related to this object are stable and clear.

Pay Attention: Creative people pay attention to other creative people and look for information about them that is not necessarily the fodder of celebrity news. Non-creative people vicariously live through the achievements of others. Creative people attempt to merge the best of others into their own lives.

Copy: While creative people are by no means plagiarizers, they do learn their craft by copying techniques used successfully by others. With multi-millions of people in New York, plus galleries, museums, theaters, concert halls, etc., there are ample resources to copy!

    + Rembrandt, as a teacher, had his students copy his own work. In so doing, the students picked up skills that could not be taught by lecture. + Robert Crumb, a prolific illustrator (cartoonist), learned drawing as a kid by copying great works of art. + And many musicians learn through ear by replicating the sounds they most enjoy.

Commit: Most important, creative people follow through, committing their ideas to some type of expressive form – writing, drawing, painting, playing music, singing, etc. Rather than just thinking about things, creative people make those things happen.

Expose: In my opinion, the primary trait of creative people is that they expose their work to others. Creative people do not make things just for private use. They make things in order to elicit responses from others. And where, but in New York, can eliciting responses be easier to achieve?

Receive Feedback: From a creative person's viewpoint, another word for "feedback" is "applause." While creative people appreciate constructive suggestions, they thrive on applause. Applause is energy. In addition to love and sex, applause represents a passionate connection between people. The more creative people reach out publicly, the more energy they derive from the applause (and other types of appreciation) they receive. Money can be used to feed the body. Applause feeds the heart.

Creativity - stretch and inspire yourself

Interested in sketching? You can do so in comfort (especially during the cold months) in New York's museums, among many places. You can also join sketching groups and/or classes if you enjoy group process. I did the sketch above at New York's American Museum of Natural History, for example, as part of a group from Cooper Union.

You'll also find writing in museums very invigorating. My favorite spot to muse is in the atrium-based coffee shop at The Morgan Library. If you've never been there before, make a point of seeing the original Pierpont Morgan library room first, then settle down with paper and a cappuccino.

Questions or comments?
Karen Little

Article and sketch by Karen Little. First published on 2/7/2007. All rights reserved by www.LittleViews.com.





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