Imagination, when it comes down to it, is the driving force of all our new ideas, creations and extract thoughts. It can lead to new theories, dreams and designs across all professions from engineering to the arts and more! Imagination is the key to innovation, and has been one of the biggest reasons as to how many of the things we use today such as telephones, televisions, books and paintings have been created. When you really think about it, it is extraordinary what we, as humans, can discover and build and create purely due to put expansive imagination.
Many inventions that date right back into the depths of our history, are life- changing and have the ability to completely change the way society functions, especially with creations such as the first telephone, which allowed people to speak more freely with one another, with just the click of a few buttons, when initially, townspeople would have relied on sending letters to one another, which could often take a long time to arrive. It also gave a sense of personal connection as people were able to hear the person on the other side’s voice and tone, and expression.
This was all thanks to Alexander Graham Bell. If you love history, or took history at school, you’ll likely know a lot about his highly intelligent man. He was a Scottish inventor, scientist and engineer who was credited with patenting the first practical telephone, in 1876. This was all down to a mixture of intelligence, skill and a wonderful imagination. “What if we could talk to one another through an electrical device, without being in the same room as the other person?” – And this idea was brought into reality, and is a gadget that we still use today, which is constantly evolving. In addition to the telephone, Bell worked on hundreds of projects throughout his career and received patents in various fields. Some of his other notable inventions were: The Metal Detector, The Protophone, The Graphophone and the Audio Meter. He also invented numerous techniques to help teach the blind and deaf – Another reason why ideas, imagination and creation can be so crucially important within our society, especially when others are helped in the process.
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” – Alexander Graham Bell
On the other side, there is the artistic aspect of imagination. Our own imagination has led to the work of some incredibly famous and beautiful artistic pieces/interpretations. One great example of a historical figure who became celebrated for his artistic masterpieces, was Vincent Van Gogh; a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter. In one decade, he created about 2100 artworks, including 860 oil paintings, most of which date from the last 2 years of his life. Here are a few of his paintings:
Van Gogh, today, is one of the most popular of the Post-Impressionist painters, although he was not widely appreciated during his lifetime. He is now celebrated for the great vitality of his works which are characterised by expressive and emotive use of brilliant colour and energetic application of impastoed paint.
Van Gogh’s mind was not so easily understood during his time and, modern day historics now speculate that, towards the end of his life, unfortunately, Van Gogh was progressing into complex mental illness. Evidence suggests that he had manic depression, a chronic mental illness thought affects many creative people. This is reflected in some of his paintings and gives us, with some of his pieces, an in depth insight, into the mind of someone who is struggling with mental illness, something that is not easily expressed with words.
As well as works of art, interventions and scientific breakthroughs, our own imagination has lead us to creating some wonderful stories throughout the years. A vibrant and abstract example of this is the work of Lewis Caroll, and his stories: “Alice and Wonderland” and “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” which still have great relevance today, both having been visually interpreted into widely known and appreciated movies, and with the books still being read across schools in the UK. The imaginative mind of Lewis Caroll has worked up some truly extravagant characters and places, such as “The Cheshire Cat”, “The White Witch”, a wardrobe that leads to the world of Narnia and of course Alice’s bright and colourful “Wonderland” which she stumbles across after falling down a rabbit hole, hence the now popular used phrase amongst theorists, “down the rabbit hole”.
And of course, we can’t forget the brilliant mind of Roald Dahl, and well-loved author of some of the best children’s books, including “Fantastic Mr.Fox, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG”. His boks have this amazing ability to inspire the imagination of children as they create their own ideas about what each unique character looks and speaks like. His protagonists always seem to have such a gentle and kind nature behind them, such as the teacher, “Miss Honey” from Matilda, and the charming, family man “Mr.Fox” from “Fantastic Mr.Fox”, while his antagonists are cunning and manipulative, unique in their own way, such as the crafty, plotting farmers, Boggis, Bunce and Bean, described as fat, thin and short in “Fantastic Mr.Fox”. Each of his classics, are different in its their own way, with each storyline being incredibly unique to the other, which is what makes Roald Dahl’s imagination so fascinating…
In conclusion, it’s easy to comprehend why imagination was and still is to this day, so important. In our busy lives, as adults, we often loose our motivation to explore our imagination but this is how some of the most wonderful inventions, artistic pieces and novels have come into reality. It’s interesting, when you think about how much of the future of art and invention currently lies in someone’s mind, and is yet to be created. It will be particularly compelling to watch James Cameron’s upcoming “Avatar 2”, in the cinema, due to how expressive and enthralling the first successful “Avatar” movie was, and of course, going through 2023 experiencing what exciting new movies, inventions, breakthroughs, novels and artwork the human imagination brings us!
When is the last time you brought your imaginative ideas to reality? (Whether that be writing a poem, planning a story, a movie idea, an idea for a useful gadget or anything else!). We would love to hear it, so feel free to comment your imaginative ideas below !
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