What kind of genius (artistic or otherwise) are you?
Wired Magazine's July issue has a story featuring the work of economist and art aficionado David Galenson. His theory suggests that creative geniuses come in two distinct types - Quick and Dramatic or Careful and Quiet.
I've just checked Wired's web site (http://www.wired.com) and they say they will be posting the reprint of the article on the site on July 11th.
He calls the Quick and dramatic types "Conceptualists", while the careful and quite types are called "Experimentalists." The heart of the theory is that the Conceptualists do their best works when they are young and then sort of fade away, while the Experimentalists get better, better, better over a long period of time, culminating with their genius works later in life.
Genius has traditionally been assosicated with the young Conceptualists, but Galenson's research seems to show that the older Experimentalists have created works of equal genius. Mozart was a conceptualist, but Beethoven was an Experimentalist. He is quick to point out that the Experimentalists were people who always beleived in their work and focused on it over a lifetime, he was not saying that everyone who is a bit older has some latent genius hidden inside of them.
We've all been envious of those young, early twenty-somethings who seemingly have it all. Think of discoveries of artists like Dan Gerhartz, Morgan Wiestling, and Jeremy Lipking. While I wish them all well, it is encouraging to know that there is still hope for the rest of us. Now all the rest of us have to do is just not die before we reach our creative genius peaks....