What Are You Curious About?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I was listening to a podcast that I subscribe to, Notes from the Voodoo Lounge, which features interviews with a lot of the leading crafters, artists, and creative people of the world.  It's a great podcast that I thoroughly enjoy and highly recommend.

One of the guests on the podcast was asked a question by the host, and it made me sit up and take notice because I'd never thought of it before.  "What makes you curious?  What would you research and explore if you had the chance?"

I'd never thought of that before.  I've always, for some reason, linked all my interests around my job...  Rather like concentric circles expanding in a pool of water, my interests always seemed to have an origin point that roughly focused around what was useful in my career.  Almost everything that I have pursued out of my own curiosity has been prompted by the needs of what I was doing at the time.  It may have been only loosely related (for example, some of the blogs that I read are about quilting, which is not something that I plan on doing right now as it's labor intensive and I need to put my efforts into other things), or my curiosities may have something to do with a movie or something I read in a bathroom reader or a snippet from a news service...  But by-and-large, anything "major" that I have tried to explore has been related to or directly influenced by my work.

Has anyone else discovered this about themselves?  I've realized that some people start to explore their interests and hobbies after they retire, but some also dive into formal modes of education earlier in their lives to provide structure to their interests--college, vocational schools, etc.  I think I took the structured route, but realize now that I took courses to "flesh out" my main area of discipline--relating everything back to my central focus.

It's interesting.  If posed the question of "what makes me curious", would you choose to study different things now than you might have in the past?  Would you need a formal structure to approach your investigations?

And by extension, does the desire to explore new things influence our ability to create new things?  As the saying goes, "garbage in, garbage out"...  Well, does that extend to art?  If we stop being curious, will our art reflect a lack of anything new, different, or unusual?  Will we stop creating new things, and simply design endless variations on the same theme?  Well, new to us as creators, anyway...

Is curiosity a necessary component of creativity?  Real, honest to goodness curiosity, not just the "collecting pictures for inspiration" kind?  Curiosity with depth, beyond "I wonder what's hot right now"?  Curiosity that leads us to ask questions about ourselves and in turn prompts us to create things we might not have created before, if we had played it safe?

Things to ponder.  Things to wonder about.  : )

Live Life with Relish!

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