IN: Inspiration

DIANE VICTOR’S CREATIVE VIEWPOINT

Diane Victor is one of South Africa’s most highly acclaimed artists. Throughout her career, Victor has garnered international recognition for her socially and politically driven artworks.

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Diane Victor is one of South Africa’s most highly acclaimed artists. Throughout her career, Victor has garnered international recognition for her socially and politically driven artworks. For her, pursuing a life in art has been immensely rewarding. “I’ve managed to get away with doing what makes me absolutely happy and people paying me for it.” We met with her at her inner-city studio in Joburg to discuss her views on creativity and creative people.

“I think most people do,” Victor responds to our question on whether or not creative people possess extreme contradictions. “Most people just learn to suppress the parts that society doesn’t reward. I think everyone has the potential to be creative.” Although she believes everyone has this potential, however, the ability to extract it gets more difficult with age. “I think the majority of people in society have been punished for thinking creatively and breaking boundaries,” she explains. “It’s very unlikely that a person could get some kind of creative thinking out of them. I think the people we have to focus on are kids of our future. I know our country shouts that we need more mathematicians and more scientists, but losing art is one of the biggest potential disasters in our society. It doesn’t mean that we need to produce a world full of fine artists. But the man who goes into banking, he should have a creative solution to it. That’s what you don’t want to lose.”

Diane Victor agrees that society’s mentality towards creativity is changing, however. In recent years, the practical use of creative thinking has become increasingly important in almost every other field. The notion of ‘creatives’ vs. the other is gradually diminishing. Despite this transition, Victor remains cautiously sceptical. “It’s a very privileged change and it can happen more in privileged societies that are more financially secure than others. The economic reality of the majority of people in our country is so basic. Apart from the creativity required to come up with solutions, because you haven’t got anything. But other than that, it’s a luxury to teach creativity thinking.”

If teaching creative thinking is indeed a luxury, Diane Victor has had a very fortunate career. Having lectured at tertiary institutions, Victor finds cultivating young creatives to be one of the most rewarding experiences. “For me, it’s coming across new challenges and new ways of thinking,” she explains. “In my case, it comes with teaching in a university and dealing with minds that are not yet damaged yet by the restrictions of society.It’s a privilege being able to interact with them and guide them.”

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