View Full Version : Conflict or Support: What's better at getting your Creative Juices flowing?

08-09-2003, 09:20 AM
All the creativity books I've read claim that a good support network is vital to the creative artist. But I just read that Bob Dylan's most classic work was composed when he was going through a nasty divorce with his wife.

A supportive environment can feel comfortable but does it feel too comfortable to do anything new? On the other hand, conflict can bring up the adrenaline but do we always use that extra adrenaline wisely and creatively?

For myself, I think I use a little of both but whether I use them wisely is another matter.

Your thoughts and experiences?

Keith Russell
08-09-2003, 09:38 AM
As many of you probably know, I am an active participant (maybe 'too active'!) in the 'Debates' forum here at WC, and I am now a 'Guide' in that forum, as well. Even a few moments spent browsing the 'Debate' forum will lead to a clear understanding of the level--and degree--of the conflict that seems to be essential to that forum.

For the last decade or so, I have also been studying philosophy, particularly aesthetics and epistemology, with the intent of evenatually writing a book on the philosophical underpinnings of the 'split' between 'fine' and 'commercial' art that occurred over the last two centuries.

Earlier this year, my wife commented that she could see a time in the future when I would stop painting, in order to concentrate on philosophy and writing.

That is definitely not my intent, but her comment has certainly motivated me to rededicate myself to art, my first, best love/fate/destiny--whatever.

So, I enjoy conflict immensely, but I am also fortunate to have supportive people around me, who care about both me and my work.

Sometimes, though, that support comes in the form of criticism, barbed comments (such as my wife's observation), or a serious kick in the pants.

Conflict or support?


I think one needs both conflict and support--and sometimes they can be found in the same place.


08-09-2003, 03:08 PM
hmmm, interesting Keith.

Was your wife's comment so much conflict as a different way of perceiving the situation?

So what creative kick start do you get out of conflict? For myself, it comes in clarity of definition. I am not something, so I must be something else, then if I am that something else, I must do that something else. Ergo, the creative flow.

08-10-2003, 09:46 AM

Maybe when I get good and cocky about my work I'll say "criticism". Yeah! Just thinking about getting good and cocky is inspiring!

08-10-2003, 10:53 AM
Hmm, Robin. But you don't run away from conflict, in fact sometimes, you seem to enjoy it.

Any idea of what conflict is doing for you?