Note: The following post relates to the project requirements for my Foundations in Creativity class.
Originally posted to the creativity blog on November 1, 2015.
The creativity every day concept is not working. I keep resorting to commentary instead of creation. I won’t include everything I wrote about trying to combine historic and contemporary domestic life but the overall point is that there is an underlying dissatisfaction in life that motivates people to create, in order to find happiness and balance in their lives. I have been greatly motivated to create things, clothing, interior décor, etc., by a desire to live in the past. I appreciate many things from yesterday and many things from today. Creativity lets me pick and choose which to maintain in my daily life.
The Runco Creativity textbook talks about the creativity historians need to use to fill in the gaps in what they understand about the past. This understanding is always evolving as new information presents itself. Like the sand mandala and Halloween make-up, historic creativity is a flexible endeavor, even for those who aren’t scholars.
There are quite a few people in this world who don’t willingly live in the now. Life is somewhat spent reluctantly moving forward because there is no other option. These people often appear at historic re-enactment events, renaissance festivals, the Gothic subculture, the Steampunk subculture, and period-oriented activities like tweed rides, just to name a few. The more lofty perspective is that without people who appreciate the old, there would be little motivation to preserve it. History is important. It grounds us and gives us a foundation. As a society, we know where we’ve been and this helps shape where we can go. No one wants to throw the baby of experience out with the bathwater of progress.
For those who are drawn to the past, being stuck in the present presents a problem. Until a time machine is invented, one will always be definitively separated from one’s passion. The silver lining of this is, of course, being able to benefit from modern conveniences, like toothpaste and indoor plumbing.
The adaptation of one’s surroundings is easier if you have ample budgetary resources. Period clothing, antiques, and historic architecture do not come cheap. Another option is to acquire a position as an actor/actress in a period film and visit the past that way. However, that is temporary and the producers will want their things back. Very, very few people have both the means and motivation to live in the past perfectly.
For those of a modest income, it becomes a game of creative adaptation and interpretation. For me, my preferences lurk about the 17th and 18th Centuries, from 1620ish to 1780ish, more or less. I’ve sewn garments from this period using a machine (not historic) making adaptations as needed. I eat a thoroughly modern diet and partake of modern medicine. Antiques are out of the question so I approach decorative arts with an eclectic perspective (it looks close enough). My demeanor is most modern, I’m afraid, and more appropriate for a man of the past instead of a woman. Our house came up a little off as well (1832) because real estate is the most expensive aspect of all and it was the best we could do given constraints. I also have to consider the feelings of my family who can only be expected to be so accommodating.
For the time traveler, it’s about blending together the old and contemporary and creating something new.