Turning Archive 2006

Creativity vs. Plagiarism

Keith Tompkins
>To me, it seems the problem really isn't plagiarism, but rather a lack of creativity and imagination. This lack of creativity often leaves no choice but to rely on the work of others for inspiration.

While I firmly believe design principles can be taught, harnessing one's creative side isn't quite so easy. Some people have an abundance of creative ability, some have very little.

When asked where he got his ideas, Henry Ford replied..."Ideas are everwhere..all I have to do is pluck one out of the air." He easily visualized new methods of production and better ways to engineer his products. He had a gift that isn't learned, it's hard wired in.

From my experience, it's fairly easy to show someone how to produce a good form. Even if it takes transferring measurments from one form to the next, or by using templates...it can be done. In that way almost anyone can produce a reasonable form. find a great form, and emulate it. Nothing wrong with that.

It's another story to ask a student to visualize a piece in their head in advance...and consider the effect that subtle changes would produce.Even harder, to visualize the piece, and mentally cut it in half. Then mentally rotate the pieces, examining them from all angles....then further cut it up and reassemble it. Many students I have seen cannot grasp the concept, where it seems to come naturally to me...my best ideas seem to come out of thin air.

Where does this leave those who haven't harnessed their creative energy? Can it be taught? Can someone learn to focus in on their creative abilities? Is creativity something that has simply been discouraged in us since we were in school..in favor of standardized education formats?

Have all the great songs been written? Have all the great books been written? Have all the great turnings already been produced? I don't think so..they are there, just waiting to be produced.

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