My friend Kashif recently attended a course on creative writing. He shared a valuable experience with me. I thought you may find it useful. So, with his permission, here it is. I also include a wonderful insight, from the genius, Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Here’s an excerpt from Kashif’s email:
“There were 23 of us in the class. We were different ages and from different educational backgrounds and cultures. What really frustrated me was by the end of the course our work started to read remarkably similar. […] The structure of our writing was silencing our voice”.
It reminded me of a great artist, who shunned art school.
This quote from the late great Jean-Michel Basquiat, highlights a foundational element of all creative learning. And it doesn’t involve a classroom.
“I never went to an art school. […] I just looked at a lot of things. And that’s how I learnt about art… by looking at it.”Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Basquiat observed the world around him. He looked through his own lens. That’s how he developed his amazing style. It was based on his unique interpretation. Not the guidance of a well-intentioned teacher, the content of a course or what might look best in his portfolio.
As Jean-Michel Basquiat discovered, classrooms are not the only place to harness your creativity or artistic skills. In my experience, they tend not to be the best place, either.