Growing Creativity: Our Relation With Culture

I found this remarkable article on an artist’s personal development through It shows how Jake, the artist in question, has drawn pictures since he was two years old until his 24th birthday (his current age). The reason why I post about it here is that you can look at it as an example of how the relation between culture and humans changes during human life cycle.

Untill he is about thirteen years old, Jake is clearly influenced by the cultural world in which he grows up. You see literal (well, actually pictorial) references to Star Wars, comic book monsters, war movies and so on, most of them more or less copies of the originals (although well done). Starting from his thirteenth birthday, something shifts. The references to (popular) culture are still there, but less recognizable. Jake starts adding things, puts figures in different contexts, clearly combines elements that were not used together before.

In other words: his creativity takes over and the relation between Jake the artist and his culture is now becoming more and more a feedback relation, in which Jake is informed by, influenced by his cultural world, and informs, influences this world in return. That is the beauty and the strength of evolution’s gift to humanity: the ability to create culture, to create new things, to boldly go where no (wo)man has gone before…

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