How many people think about “creative connections” when it comes to artwork? If you ask the average person on the street if art is creative, most will say, “Yes.” Some will think the two are synonymous. Personally, I would argue that artwork may or may not be creative; however, artistic works (not just something termed art) are always creative and make use of creative connections.
Types of Artwork
To better understand this thought, let’s look at various types of artwork.
If an artist sets out to reproduce another artist’s work exactly, they can show great craftsmanship and talent, but very little creativity will show. If you see creativity in the piece, then the artist has failed at their objective.
Some people consider crafts completely separate from art, but for the purposes of this discussion I will include them. Crafts where you follow instructions are very much like making a reproduction. The difference is that not as much care is usually taken to exactly reproduce the item. However, other crafts are open to creativity. For instance, a craft where kids (or adults) create a snow globe may be very creative. The entire design other than the concept of a globe is left to the crafter. This is where a craft becomes an art and where creative connections can come into play.
Connections can be as simple. Perhaps you want to add to create in scene in your snow globe. Suddenly, you remember that you saw a small plastic tree in the toy box. You run, get the tree, and add it to your creation.
Connections, however, can be quite creative. One example would be is the crafter decided to change the liquid in the globe to oil so that the “snow” will be suspended in it. Another possibility would be to use hairspray to create a sticky surface so some of the snow would stick to the surface without using glue, which might show on the project.
I call the paper artwork that I do paper arts because I am always creating new designs and techniques. Putting two very different stamp sets together to make a card or scrapbook page can be a creative connection. Other examples are using a part of a tall plant to create grass, adding color to emulate leaves to change a winter tree into a summer tree, and wetting paper so that it curls and can be formed into flowers. The creative connections can come in the form of materials used, design, using materials in ways that they were never intended, and even the basic inspiration.
Paintings And More
When creating paintings, drawings, & sculptures, creative connections can come in terms of techniques, subject matter, and interpretation. The more different an art piece is from the basic fruit bowl, nude, or landscape, the more likely it contains creative connections.
Creating new creative connections is the part of art that I like best.
The above is an updated version of an article that I originally wrote on 6/29/2012.