This month we have asked our bloggers to answer the question: Is Art and Creativity elitist?  There have been some fascinating responses, including this one from ‘special guest’ blogger ‘Doug.  If you wish to send us a guest blog, please address it via email to hello@popupnottingham.co.uk

 

Is creativity elitist? Should it stay that way? How do we change it?

I don’t believe creativity is elitist, maybe some people believe they are elitist. 
I think this rests on how you carry yourself and relate to others. 

Over the years I've got to know some great professional musicians and other great creative people who are more than happy to share their experience's, knowledge and wisdom in a non elitist way.  These are people of all ages, at the top of their game or at the start, where ever that is. They seem to shine and relish helping others on their journey through life and the self improvement of their art, what ever that art form is.

I see elitists as a bit narrow minded and self important, almost an attitude of 'well if you don’t do it this way, you're not one of us'.

I understand that some things have to be done a certain way, because there maybe isn't another way and some techniques are passed down through the generations. If this is the case then share this information and experience and help others on their way.

Elitism can segregate, marginalise and discriminate sometimes preventing someone who is trying to get into a certain subject, art form or on a career ladder. We see this especially in Television and Media.  I've seen the 'pecking order' in those institutions and it can be like joining a club-your either with us or against us.

I see this as fear and control. 
I also realise there sometimes has to be a ladder to climb, this is very important when gaining experience-just don’t tread on people on the way up, take some people with you.

Some elitists want their own empire and the fear of someone coming in and doing a better job threatens this and ultimately their future.  I've seen elitists in the past defend this 'club' quite aggressively, talking to those on the 'lower pecking order' like rubbish, or not engaging them at all.

I see it as weakness, rudeness and ignorance. 

When ever I engage with someone getting into a new subject or other undertaking maybe something that's new to them, but not to me I don’t shun them, or drill it into them that 'vie been doing this for years' and I don’t look down on people or try and elevate myself either.

I listen and offer polite advice, if it is asked for.  There’s nothing like meeting people who share the same interests and wants to know about your experiences and its great to share and pool skills-some great work comes about by people meeting new people and sharing experiences.

I believe some people who behave in an elitist attitude are missing out. 
Elitism can be an ugly trait, a bit like self importance that can repel people. 
You will always have elitists, and where would we be with out diversity?  
Wouldn’t the world be dull if we were all equal? I believe the fight makes life worth living.  If we don’t experience the fight and the struggle then maybe getting to where we want to be won’t be as rewarding, and we won’t appreciate it as much.

So maybe there is a place for elitism, it shows me how I don’t want to behave -and the more obstacles in my way the better I get.

 

Article by Doug W / 20th March 2012

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