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What Is the “Creative Filter” and How to Avoid It?


On an Indonesian island, 40 Thousand years ago someone had an urge to create amazing art on the cave walls. It told a story a story that survived and was shared. Since then we have been creating and admiring art, we’ve evolved in so many ways and now live in a world where everyone can express their personal creativity.

But who decides what is good or bad? Appreciation of art is such a subjective thing that one person’s masterpiece can be hated by others. In today’s world success is controlled by the subjective ‘Filter’ of the Art Critic, Publisher and Popular Media, only the lucky few get past it to succeed. When did this happen? 40 thousand years ago families and friends decided who was relevant, shouldn’t we leave it up to the public now too?

We are now in a creative explosion! Art and creativity are no longer the domain of the elite artist and creative professional. Now everyone has the tools to create art and the means to show their work to the masses through social media. Does this not mean that anyone with a creative talent should be recognised for their artistic contributions? I believe that Art is as relevant as the ordinary people who make it. Shouldn’t it be possible for the average person with a creative talent to make a living from their talents. Unfortunately, this still isn’t the case, we have come a long way but we are not there yet.

Success for most creative people is governed by what I like to call the ‘Creative Filter’. Let me give you a fictional example:

‘A young lady works 9 to 5 as a PA but she has always been creative, unfortunately, her job doesn’t leverage her talents. Outside work she has expressed this creativity in many ways, she is an amazing face painter, she designs her own clothes and draws pencil portraits of her friends and family. She applied for art college but they didn’t like her portfolio so she has resigned herself to never making it professionally, all of her friends and family think this is a crime and that she is an untapped talent waiting to be discovered.’

This is an example of the ‘Creative Filter’ at work. Some art teacher with their own objective opinion on who is relevant filtered another creative out to obscurity, this example could as easily have been a publisher, record producer, art critic etc. The creative world is full of ‘Filters’ and the world is full of untapped creative talent that needs to be recognised.

In my opinion, there is a solution, imagine a creative community where creatives of all disciplines can collaborate on projects to help each other get better or to create collaborative work. Once they are happy with their work they publish it and let the community decide if their work is relevant. Then they share their work on their social networks and get the people who always thought they should succeed to rate that work too. The community grows and, in turn, the relevance of the rating grows too.

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