Wednesday, March 2, 2011

But Master I Am Not A Painter!

Thought Point: We have all seen the 1969 movie classic “Agony & The Ecstasy” with Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison. In a way it sums up how many creative projects begin. A client commissions a creative organization to take on their vision, their need, and their issue. The sales and management of that creative organization then need to convert those needs into the minds and souls of their creative. 

Michelangelo was commissioned by Pope Julius II Della Rovere in 1508, to paint the Twelve Apostles and a few ornaments on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. He, who had always insisted he was a sculptor, was thus to learn the art of fresco painting, and practice it on a vault decorated by fifteenth-century artists as a starry sky. 

However, as he began work on the project, Michelangelo conceived grander designs for the decoration of the ceiling. He spent the time between then and the 31st of October 1512 painting more than 300 figures on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. 

In the beginning, Michelangelo fought the direction and even the project. Not until he felt inspired, not until he conceived it as something greater than what the “client” had even asked for could he even imagine doing the work. In the end, he was driven by the spirit to create something that was bigger than the ideas of the original request and it was only then that he could start and ultimately complete the project. 

Here we see the struggle between creative genius and creative results. The client, and/ or manager attempting to jam their vision and ideas down the creative individual’s brain and force a result. Not until the ideas were internalized and where taken as the creative genius’ own, could the work even begin. In the end, the result was something beyond the money paid, the vision of the client. It was a masterpiece that has stood as a testament to the creative ability of individuals. A sculptor made into a painter. A chapel made into a temple of art.

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