Draw Inside the Lines Moron

June 13, 2008

Remember how people used to associate “drawing outside the lines” with creativity.  The kids who’s coloring books were chaos were the original ones, the non-conformist.  But as we get older, I think they’re something to be said for drawing inside the lines.  For example: Driving.  The whole point of driving is to stay inside the lines, and I really feel like this is a good thing.  I think the world could do without creative drivers, chalk one up for conformity.  Another example: Scantrons.  Bubble inside the lines or fail.  Maybe this is why so many creative people don’t make it through college.

            Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a hard-core non-conformist at heart.  But lets be honest, the world is a better place due to a moderate degree of conformity.

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5 Responses to “Draw Inside the Lines Moron”

  1. Joel Says:

    Nice one.

    There are way too many folks whose only expression of creativity occurs behind the wheel of their car. The world would indeed be a better place if they found a less deadly form of self-expression. They can start on the path to fuller and more functional expression by learning how to use their turn signals. Oh yeah, despite the external evidence, most cars have an internal device that connects to little lights that enable communication with the outside world. It’s a beautiful thing.

    More broadly, I think you’ve tapped into one of the fundamental issues of creativity. Coloring creatively within the lines is kind of the whole point. Yeah, you want to stretch people and push them but if there’s no frame of reference, if there are no rules that govern the dialog, etc. then you’re really just engaged in a solipsistic, narcissistic delusion. Even going outside the lines depends on the lines for effect.

    Moreover, in my experience, too many of the folks enamored with this cliche are not, in fact, doing much to push the envelope anyway. Too often, their stray marks are more accidental than intentional and even when they are deliberate, it’s kind of a brute force infantile tantrum.

    And sometimes the greatest triumphs of imagination appear to be neatly within the accepted structure but manage somehow subtly to blow it up in the process.

  2. Janessa Says:

    Totally deep post, babe.

  3. gbeddingfield Says:

    In a post-modern world, what could be more iconoclastic than… conformity. 🙂

  4. frazyah Says:

    ditto. (to you)

  5. sph Says:

    Mike,
    What has happened to you in your old age?


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