Why Create?

I've been reading Leonardo da Vinci's biography by Walter Isaacson, and I was struck by da Vinci's range and output in a wide range of subjects. Of course, he's most well-known as the painter of Mona Lisa, but painting was only one of several things he did; he also dabbled in sketching, sculpting, organizing pageants, dissecting animals, designing mechanical devices and many, many others.

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This made me think: is creation for its own sake a worthy goal in life? When I was younger, I used to make things without thinking about their purpose. Maybe it is the so-called inspiration, which strikes you less as you grow older. Or perhaps you get better at subduing it and thinking it as not worthy of the time.

We are also now more aware of great work done by others, so unless you can get as good or better, why even try? There's the famous quote by Ira Glass:

... For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit...

But it's important to not lose that ability to be a beginner. Creating things for their own sake, without comparison or a larger goal in mind, is worthwhile. I hope to keep this mind whenever I find myself in a creative rut.

© 2018 Jasleen Singh. All Rights Reserved.