Charles Limb ImprovThe act of creation, creativity itself and the fine art of getting really good at these two things are matters that have preoccupied me a lot of late.

In a previous post about the 10 000 hours of mastery, a reader positted that some people just never seem to get beyond a certain level, no matter the hours they put in.

Which got me wondering:

  1. Is there a difference between mastering an art (that is by nature creative for example, playing classical music) and being creative?
  2. Does mastery involve more than physical competence? Or must it by definition progress to actual creation of new things/ideas/music or what have you?

There does seem to be a bias towards the idea that true mastery involves original creation. Why else would people criticise a technically perfect player of music as having no ‘feel’ or sparkle?

Then further, what does that even MEAN qualitatively and quantitatively?

This video below goes some way to showing how being spontaneously creative IS different in the brain than just doing a task (possible even really well) that you have merely learned. Does this point out that physical mastery is not enough for artists? And therefore, is it possible to work at mastering CREATIVITY as a skill? Is that what some of our arts education is lacking, what our commercial obsession with financial returns is forming?