Fall 2003: Producing Creativity
We know the creative process is complex, elusive, enigmatic.We expect it to be so, admiring creators all the more. But the process that brings us face-to-face with works of art is, at best, baffling and generally ignored. We just want to view the painting, see the film, hear the string quartet, or be immersed in the drama, content to assume that the persons who created these things probably had a rough time getting them done. For the audience, the creative work is over once the artist puts down pen or brush, once the composer finds the right cadence, or the playwright types, “final curtain.”
But for those other creative souls who endeavor to bring us these fruits—the producers, we might call them—the real labor is just beginning. And unlike the artist, they’ll get little credit in the end.
In this feature, we peel away the mystery and find some of the many Sarah Laurentians who dare to take on the task of producing. For simplicity’s sake, we’ve picked the art object which, over centuries, has reached across every social, economic, territorial and aesthetic divide: the book.
It sounds like a riddle: How many people does it take to bring a book from the writer’s hands to yours? But the answer is no joke—it takes a lot of them. Each needs to be able to re-tell the story the author has woven, crafting and shaping it to suit the market.They’re as much tailors as tellers. They’re also entrepreneurs, prognosticators, gamblers, shepherds, confessors, analysts, builders, dreamers, aesthetes and philosophers... | full story
A Memoir for One
I’ve written it all down, and I want to make a book and give it to my son Michael. He’ll be graduating from college next year, and he doesn’t know about my life. But I need to find a writer to help me. My English is not good enough.” I found something to say: “I’m a writer. I can help...” | full story
“Not every character I create is African-American, but as an African-American woman, I am interested in doing work about African-American people. It’s a challenge: Often people don’t really understand what the ‘African-American’ experience is... ” | full story