I am worried. Or just plain disappointed. With the way we can so easily peddle anything as art.
Instagram has made our lives easier; we can live out online, the lives we want to live in person. Everyone is having a great time, taking flights every week, eating the most amazing food at the best restaurants, wearing designer brands and just living the celebrity life. For “creatives”, with Instagram came the ability to become independent artists, put themselves out there and get quick exposure for their “art”.
But are social platforms like Instagram actually making us express ourselves more creatively?
Nowadays, my timeline is filled with the lives of ordinary people with a little over 2k to 5k or more followers with 1k likes, who have assumed celebrity status over other ordinary people with lesser Instagram followers.
What the hell is Instagram celebrity anyway?
Every photographer, artist, poet, writer or blogger is automatically a creative and whatever they put out is labeled art. I check comments where a random picture, someone posts is heralded by ass licking comments of “wow, you are so creative,” “you are art” or any of that other hogwash. Then like a cycle, these creatives feed on these comments to validate themselves and keep doing the same thing.
Here’s the thing about Nigerians, the creatives are in a rush to show the world whatever they have worked on, to show them that they have been working on something, so they are quick to put out the half baked work they have done. Then, their followers are going to offer ass licking comments or no criticism to help them push beyond their creative boundaries. What is the rush in putting your work out there or making IG stories about what you have been creative about today? Are you actually being creative or spending all your time, updating us every 10 minutes about what you have worked on?
I dislike the term, “creatives” now, it has become a gauge of some sorts. Creativity isn’t what we think we are doing. It takes periods of isolation, non attention to social trends, discipline and raving mad focus. It is deeper than a bucket of KFC.
Creativity requires isolation;
We are too choked up with updating our social media pages, to put up a performance for our social audience that we don’t unplug from everyone and anything to work on our craft and make it better. We have a bunch of content creators, influencers and lifestyle bloggers doing the same thing, going to the same place, talking about the same thing or taking the same pictures, without any creative edge or little to no individualism.
Sometimes, I wonder how CEO and founders, who have a massive following and tweet every day, actually get the job of growing their companies done.
We work on something for 20 minutes, scroll for an hour and then continue our monstrosity of art. It has become a competition over who puts out more content and gets more engagement than the other.
Creativity requires paying less attention to trends;
This is a great idea because for one, only stupid stuff trends in Nigeria and you are not missing out if you choose not to spend your time arguing with strangers online about random stuff. You could use that time to read, think of something new for a change or do something more differently.
Creativity requires having discipline and raving mad focus;
Sometimes, we get into a creative runt because we are doing too much of social media. We don’t realize it, until we have spent all day internalizing the reality people are showing on their feed, getting addicted and distracted by the noise, to actually unplug and work on our craft. Creativity requires being focused, tuning out the noise and getting the job done.
The process of being creative is hard.
You will be sad,
You will cry,
You will pull your hair out,
You will want to pluck your eyes out,
You will want to take a really really long nap and continue.
Creativity won’t happen in a day, it takes a lot of work, and art will always takes time.
There is creativity and then, there is what we think we are doing.Pick your side of the spectrum.
Pick your side of the spectrum.