The Value of Creativity

My son loves to draw….he doesn’t just draw a few hours a week he draws for hours everyday. That’s been going on consistently the past 7 years now. He draws things from movies, stories in books, ideas from websites and games, and from his imagination. It’s the most amazing thing and I love this in my 11 year old. As a single parent raising my son, his grades are important to me but so is his creativity. (Btw…I have HUGE storage bins of all his artwork….yes Daddy saves everything!)

There are two sides to the debate about creativity currently in my family. Because my son is the only child on our side of the family he often gets spoiled by some members of the family, by others criticized. Because my son has a mild form of autism/ADD the rules however don’t apply to him in the same way. His developmental pediatrician told me that. Anyone raising a special needs kid knows exactly what I mean by that.

Half of my family are artists, painters, art professors, art teaches, degreed art people, and even starving artists. The other half have almost nothing to do with the arts. I’ve been a bit of a “freak” in my family in that I’ve done and am now doing both. I’ve been a high dollar Software Engineer and an artist. I love both and am doing both right now. I’ve enjoyed helping companies make a lot of money. I’ve made a lot of money in tech – stock options, bonuses, six figures often – and they’ve made millions off my work in many ways. I know as I’ve seen the figures.

But art remains for me as it does my Moms side of the family the core of what I value and they value in life….music, art, books, etc. That’s why I will always make art and why I recently became a writer…..Ive wanted to go beyond software development and the visual arts and try my hand at a different “medium of creativity” as that essentially is all software coding is or intaglio print making or oil painting or writing is – they are all the same, just “structured beauty” via creativity.

In my family half are amazed at my sons artwork. Half are not and disturbed. And that’s why I just want to share this to all of you that may have beautiful creative artistic or musically gifted children: What matters most isn’t MONEY its creativity. Because from all forms of creativity, even the ugliest and shallowest forms seen in say comics or video games, there’s value. Not just artistic value but money making value as well.

Look at the billions spent at Electronic Arts in gaming and the armies of creative programmers and digital artists that work there. I remember reading about the dudes that scribbled the first Ninja Turtle, Ren and Stimpy, or South Park foul-mouthed character. All those people are multimillionaires now. Look at the art and films and work of John Lassiter, Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and thousands of other creative and imaginative people. Without them we would all be lost!

But “money” isn’t the goal in life. Creativity has value in and of itself. It’s the human expression of the heart and soul that matters. Even if it’s a copy or inspired by others, it’s all good!

I’m a huge proponent of this idea. Big time! In fact I believe the greatest artists are the ones that once lived in poverty like Van Gogh for example or single parent JK Rowling. They were free of the true evils of money and capitalization of their creativity before their work made billions.
Rich people buy art but the truly rich make it. That’s where the truly rich lie.

I’ll likely be posting more and more stuff about creativity and it’s importance. As I expand ideas on Mythopoeia I’ll be adding it to books on the topic in the years ahead. And I’m currently working on some ideas for expanding my sons art digitally, as well.

But it’s critical we all realize that a lot of the wealth we create in America originates from creative people, not just the animators and gamers of our age but the Graham Bells and Teslas and inventors of other ages.

It’s easy to engineer – that’s what I do for a living. But it’s damned hard to create and innovate. That’s where the true value lies and why America is still the richest country in the world bringing in almost $20 trillion GDP this year. Creativity is what matters and is what matters most in our kids!

– the Author


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