Imagination is the source of all prolific creative effort. The great imaginative artist is the prolific artist. This is a person who creates lots of great art.
Because the imagination is such an endless source of great material, prolific artists draw on their imaginations endlessly. They see more and are therefore able to create more.
A creative artist develops greater imagination by being prolific. Much gathers more of the same and the prolific artist becomes even better at imagining greater and greater worlds within himself. The more you imagine, the more you are able to imagine.
The prolific artist develops great works of art that are of great value. His works seem to gather more value with the passage of time--more valuable a century later than on the day they were created. This is evidenced in the high auction prices that the works of the great masters fetch.
It takes time for great art to gather recognition. But the great prolific artist is too busy creating to worry about that.
Now here's how the prolific genius works. A genius sees the work as a whole in his imagination. As the work develops, imagination fills in the parts.
Why is it important for genius to be prolific? Because you learn most by doing.
Shakespeare learned by doing. Known to us today as the world's greatest playwrite, he produced a tremendous body of work. It was important that he produce much for he had much to learn along the way. Each play led to another and each play helped give him the vast body of experience he needed to get to his very last play.
Mozart is the same. Musical compositions flowed out of his pen and on to paper in almost complete form on the very first draft. It takes great imaginative discipline to get it right the first time.
This great discipline is only known to the great prolific artist with a large body of experience. Discipline builds a little bit every day; it all starts in the imagination.
This is why great artists so often start so young. It takes time to develop discipline and it takes time to discipline the imagination.
Shakespeare (1564-1616) lived 52 years and Mozart (1756-1791) lived 35 years. Inside themselves, their lives must have been almost pure lives of imagination. How else could they have accomplished so much in so little time?
A prolific imagination leads to a prolific outpouring of work.
The traveling singer, Woody Guthrie, wrote over one thousand songs in his lifetime. Vincent Van Gogh, the painter, did a painting a day over a five month period including the most famous of his sunflower paintings.
Frank Sinatra recorded over twelve hundred songs in his lifetime. The most honored popular singer in his generation, he may also have been the most prolific.
©Edward Abbott 2002-2005