The thread on how many people in your family are artists got me thinking about something I haven't thought of for years. This may go nowhere because I AM a bit older than most of you and the world has changed drastically over my grandparents/parents/my time, but...
I always believed that "peasants" and the like, the perennial toilers under the "rich and powerful" over the last few centuries actually had more innate "creative" skills than their "lords and masters" because they HAD to survive no matter what. There was no second chance to fall back on.
They all had to...
Cook (literally from butchering to preserving, and at all levels from breakfast to celebration feast)
Sew, produce clothing and house goods, weave, and embellish textiles
Work wood, pottery, leather, baskets and metal
Construct their own home usually
Entertain themselves and their neighbors
Create from scratch anything their community needed for a religious/educational/social purpose
As civilization changed, I always suspected that these people had a slight edge in an "artistic" sense over their "masters," most of whom often couldn't tie their own shoes without a road map. My mother's family is descended from a 14-year-old Slovak immigrant "witch" born when it was part of Hungary, and a true peasant. She built her first house by hand the first year she was in the US...before she was 15. My father's family were all miners and iron workers from French Elsace, again a working-class area in the 19th century where even "good reading" was often considered a luxury.
I KNEW these people, and learned from them when I was small, as did my parents and their siblings. Now I notice that the generations after me are becoming truly "Civilized" and have lost most of the abilities we took for granted. Many of my classmates laughed when they discovered I could repair my own clothes in early grade school--a reaction that I couldn't comprehend with my Euro-peasant/US upbringing.
To cut this short and get to the point because I think you have enough of an idea of where I'm trying to go with this...
Question: Allowing for the great advances in technology since my own birth, I see more people involved in what could be called "art" in some fashion, but...even a few time on this board...I see so many things failing at their core, no matter how well executed, because the "creative" spark is missing. The original thought that made the piece necessary seems to never have gelled properly, if you know what I mean.
I see this across all aspects and levels of our society, and I wonder if it's because we've forgotten HOW to be peasants. How to live in constant need to DO just to survive, and to DO as efficiently as we can. We've obviously lost much, if not all, of our "cross-referencing" between differing aspects of our lives--if your shirt loses a button, the first thought is to toss it rather than repair. In a modern disaster, many of the younger generation may not even know how to cook a basic meal from "scrounged" items because their microwave is now a doorstop.
Is this mentality affecting our profession/vocation? And if it is, should we even worry about it? Are we losing the ability to be truly creative at the core root because we no longer have to?
Did any of that make sense?