I’ve been writing a thing about Creative Collaboration – it’s a subject I’ve spoken about a lot and I often assert that all creative work is dependent on more than one person and that nobody does amazing creative work on their own – we just have a habit of ascribing genius to individuals because, well, individualism. See I’m never going to do a PhD 🙂
Anyway, it made me think yesterday when I wrote the following:
“Think of your favourite creative person, the odds are that you can quickly see that they required collaborators in one form or another even if those ‘others’ are not normally credited, whether it was a supportive spouse or life partner, a teacher, a muse, a tireless editor or a creative partner who brought something to the work that one person couldn’t achieve alone.”
And I thought, “I wonder who people would think of as their favourite creative person.”
And so I asked my Facebook friends
“Which creative person do you most admire or envy? All disciplines. All of history. Go!”
and they told me.
There were a few names that came up more than once:
Leonardo da Vinci x3
Pablo Picasso x3
Frida Kahlo x2
Miles Davis x2
Patti Smith x2
Here are the others in lazy alphabetical order of their first name (some of them only have one name!) There’s at least one married couple in there and more than a couple who are well known for not getting on very well. I haven’t counted how many are dead and how many alive. Some are characters from creative works themselves. A quick scan suggests they are mostly musicians, painters and writers, but there’s also a footballer, a chef and a carpenter. I might go back and look at the gender split – how many women chose men and how many chose women and vice versa.
I’d be surprised if you knew them all, I certainly didn’t – but I’ve added wikipedia links to help us all rise out of ignorance.
Gilbert & George
Leonardo da Vinci
Sir Harold Nicolson
Suzette Haden Elgin
Oh and I was interested to see that people weren’t quick to go with “envy” rather than “admire”. I don’t think it’s very easy to admit to envy anywhere, even Facebook.