“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child”
At the age of twelve the notorious painter Pablo Picasso was able to draw at a very high academic standard. His style was compared to that of Raphel. It is said that when his mother told him “If you were a soldier, you would become a general. If you were a monk, you would become the Pope.” He answered “instead, I am a painter, and I’ll become Pablo Picasso”.
He ran the risk of being just himself: Picasso was able to draw stunning pieces of art thanks to his capabilities, but he didn’t want to. He decided to paint as a child and not as a man.
That was the decision that made his art an immortal heritage of creativity and inspiration and that gave birth to Cubism. Instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist painted the subject from a multitude of perspectives to represent it in a greater context.
For the first time an artwork was broken up and reassembled in an abstracted form.
The impact of Cubism was far-reaching and wide-ranging. The new art movement spread rapidly across the globe and, in doing so, evolved to greater or lesser extent. In essence, Cubism was the starting point of an revolutionary process: Picasso, with his artworks, was sending a message to everyone saying that any person can start being unique, just by taking the risk of being himself.
What made him so different? Simply, his creativity. Starting from what he knew, Picasso managed to create something unknown.
I believe our modern society leads us, from early childhood, to make two mistakes: firstly, nowadays we are overly used to look at creativity as a gift, instead of seeing it as a real ability that must be cultivated. Secondly, we are often driven to perceive creativity as an artistic inclination and not as a skill that can be declined in any field of knowledge.
Studying Picasso has made me understand that any person can be an artist: it’s up to each of us to decide wether to conform to the mass, following preset status, or choose to be what we truly want to, making use of our creativity to become different and create our own art and our own story.
This is the story of Steve Jobs, one of the greatest artists of our age. This is the story of Albert Einstein, a strange man that one day dreamt to rewrite the meaning of the word “time”, once and for all. A folly, if he told anyone else, and so he kept the secret. His job at the patent office wasn’t enough for him but he needed it to earn some money. In his leisure time there, he used to take his physics textbooks out of the drawer, and dreamt. He read Newton and Galileo, hiding from the boss. And then, he wrote everything that came into his mind, hiding the books back in the drawer again. “The drawer of the entertainment” was the name Einstein gave to the shelf locked under his desk.
In a network-world where almost every information is available to anyone, what has happened to our “drawer of the entertainment”?
We increasingly seem to neglect it and, with it, the awarness that creativity is the greatest source we have to lead our world towards progress and innovation.
We are getting used to spend most of our time keeping up with the news rather than expressing ourselves. Shouldn’t we open our drawer more often? The past shows us that the ones that decided to do so, had left a mark in our world.
We don’t necessarly have to become all famous or notorius, but we all necessarly have to be ourselves. Creativity is one of the best instrument that everyone has to express his capabilities, creating or discovering something unknown. Progress need people that see the world not as it is, but how it can be: that’s the reason why creative people are the resource that permits civilization to advance.
Start discovering yourself and your potential by opening your drawer and, as Einstein said “Creativity is contagious, so pass it on”.