I took a day off this week to go and see the movie Black Swan. I loved it - loved the utter compulsion of Natalie Portman's character, the change her character goes through during the movie...I don't want to spoil anything...but it was such a good movie and really got me thinking. Particularly about the obsessive nature of those involved in the creative arts, being in visual art I am quite used to (perhaps the stereotype) the consumed creative, passionate and willing to follow their creativity til the end. Isn't the poster below beautiful.
It also remined me of a chapter in Alain de Botton's book The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work - about the painter. While the other jobs de Botton looks at seem quite absurd in many ways, even pointless, I was left with the feeling that the painter was romanticised by de Botton. The craftsman as being able to collectively see his work rather than 'wondering what we did last year'. While this has some truth, I think it could also be true of industries outside the creative arts. Also, not all paintings/artworks are kept by the artist and even they lose track of what they have made, when they made it.
I am also reminded of the work of Kate Bingaman Burt, her Obsessive Consumption blog which has her drawings of her purchases. It has also been published as a book. I find it fascintating as it brings an aesthetic quality and creative skill to the task of consuming. I wonder, how did it start? did she ever buy things because she wanted to draw them? did she draw everything she bought?
And...just from looking at her site I see that Kate has drawn Oprah's Favourite Things, now that is really cool.