Is peak creativity sustainable?

Embrace the fear there's limits to peak creativity in all forms but plenty of evidence hard-working class is sustainable.

The human mind

I got an email from Andrew Chiodo the owner of my all-time favorite fashion store advising me he’d had enough and was closing after 25 years.

The notice of impending demise from Chiodo in Melbourne, Australia, reminded me of their creative peak in men’s fashion and retail merchandising of about 15 years through the ’90s and up until about 2005.

They were my threads of a lifetime, at an age when the style I reflected mattered most to me. In recent years their style and marketing lost relevance and urgency– a reminder creativity and fashion are fickle, furtive and personal in all art forms.

The evidence is compelling in music, art and writing that creativity on the top shelf has a shelf life – both in human ability to maintain a creative peak and how their work survives critics’ views over the progression over time.

Much depends on the background psychology of the artist and how they rose above the plethora of poor strugglers of their era they are compared to. Fame and fortune due to public demand or critically acclaimed by their peers as artistic inspirations without the same popular success

In music think of the rise of the Beatles, Bowie and Pink Floyd, who rose above contemporaries in arguably rock music’s most creative era. The hardest working or business savvy were more durable such as James Browne, Prince and U2. Some icons because they did not endure, think Hendrix, Jim Morrison (Doors), Kurt Cobain.

I loved early U2’s early albums but the sight of Ambassador Bono on the political circuit creates urges to gag – an artist clearly past his musically creative prime but not lacking in self-importance in an untrained field. Read more