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As an artist, I create upon dreams. Some being actual dreams, defined by Miriam Webster as, “a series of thoughts, images or emotions occurring during sleep” which are usually “stories” of surrealism, that I then put in place based upon my own interpretation of the dream; while other dreams are relative to reality with a goal in mind, such as dismantling or bringing light to real world problems or victories. Inevitably, the skepticism of dreams and uncertainties of our current social state are left for exploration through art. But what happens when everything is visible. How do we dream at all?
As time moves forward and advancements in technology increase faster and at a greater rate, humans and our natural functions diminish along side, what most people would call, improvements. I beg to differ. One of those functions being, the ability to imagine. Yes, we do still dream, but to what extent … the depth at which we do and the quality of our vision is suffering. For example, just as soon as I have a vision for a piece of artwork, in a matter of seconds I have the ability to “Google” my thoughts and another beings creative ideas will be exposed; thus, interfering with the authentic creativity based off of personal understanding. This is concerning, not only for the ease of access, but the disturbance it has on reality. As explained in “Poetry between Dream and Reality”, by Sitakant Mahapatra, the quality of our experiences are being “assailed by public opinion.” This ridicule has potential to once again disrupt truths as artist and intensify any personal fickleness of creating, that leads to doubt. Art is a space to examine any doubt, if that is subject to be questioned by media, it could potentially alter what art means collectively, leaving no room for dreams at all.

If we can’t dream for the sake of creativity, what will we dream of and what will we dream for? Will they vanish entirely and all we are left with is memories of our potential? My fears are that art will no longer be an area of creation but a space that will exist in a society that relies on work of the past for not only inspiration, but for repetitive production based on virtual exposure.

However, if we maintain the seeds of creativity, can we maintain the potential for originality? Opinions and inspirations flood our brains each day affecting how we see our world and the decisions we make. In a world where everything seems to be at our fingertips, do we lose out on originality?

Even at the dawn of mankind, creativity has been deeply rooted in the idea of inspiration, where nature itself is the first source. Thus, to say something is original is to say that it is an idea that has departed as far as possible from what inspired it. The further the idea is from its inspiration, the more original the idea. In my experience, as an artist, the growing influences available in our media-saturated culture has only multiplied the potential for original creativity. Unlike our ancestors who could only look around them and reimagine the world and culture in front of them, we can derive ideas from countless cultures, artists, and even retain the purity of natural inspiration itself.
Some might say that media overload is an issue in our society. Some might argue that all the information that inundates us stifles our creativity. Not to mention, artists today have a need to make their services marketable and profitable, which puts a strain on originality. Why create something new and different when the popular formula for sitcoms, movies, and music sell much better than unexplored, experimental avenues? Only the bravest, most adventurous (or richest) artists dare release work that doesn’t sell. These trends coalesce together in our culture, stifling originality and creativity.
However, there are counter-trends in our society fighting for creativity. One example is the prevalence of crowd-funding (kickstarter.com). A method whereby freelance artists can rally support for a project using the internet. Those interested in the project can donate funds that allow artists to complete their work. This lets artists test their ideas while simultaneously making a living for themselves. The system isn’t foolproof, but it is a tool that aspirating artists looking to create original content can make use of.

The criticisms of the oversaturation of media in our society does carry weight. Originality and creativity can be suppressed with the strains of the working artists and simply the overabundance of media to consume, but the soul of a true artists will always yearn to express the deep idea forged in their hearts and minds. Ideas that are the combination of all their experiences, the media they consume, and the other influences that shape their development. There’s always an unturned rock and a new world to explore even in today’s broad world. “He is an artist because he has a dream which he seeks to make real, through words, through paint and through love and death.” –Sirakant Mahapatra.

MAHAPATRA, SITAKANT. “The Creative Process: Poetry between Dream and Reality.” Indian Literature, vol. 28, no. 3 (107), 1985, pp. 103–107., www.jstor.org/stable/23336725.