“Creativity is about intention, expression, and choice... At once cerebral and yet visceral, it is what you think about in your head and what you feel in your gut.” - Randall Sexton
The Nature of Creativity
Questions and (maybe) Answers. Part I
1. Is a high IQ essential to creativity?
Well, it helps, a bit. Try making a list of the ten most intelligent people you know, and then make a list of the ten most creative. How much overlap is there? (Be careful, of course, that the overlap is not just in your definition of the terms.) Maybe try it another way. Make a list of the people you know who are not outstandingly intelligent but are outstandingly creative. Ponder those lists for awhile; they will soon get you thinking.
There are some kinds of creative work that absolutely require high intelligence in order to even come to grips with the problem. Only when that point has been reached does creativity come into play (although sensitivity to problems is also an aspect of creative thinking). But often a modest IQ is quite sufficient when coupled with an openness to creative solutions. Our assessment depends to a large degree on how novel or how original we require a product or action to be in order to call it creative.
Measured individual intelligence plays a part, then, but not necessarily a big part, in creativity. And remember that intelligence is not a single substance, not by any means. An important consideration arises from the fact that intelligence is a many-sided thing, or, as the intelligence testers say, the structure of intellect is multifactorial. This means simply that it is composed of many different abilities, in a variety of media, and in chunks of meaning and feeling that range in size from the very small to the very large. It's not all words and numbers and visualization and spatial reasoning.
Creativity, too, is multifactorial, and not restricted to words, numbers, images, and spatial dimensions. A quick smile is gestural; so is a hesitant step. Both may be creative acts, not only for the persons involved but, should they occur in a play or movie, perhaps for many, many people. Great actresses and actors convey feeling creatively in many modes. A sob or a song may be the most intense expressions of feeling, using breath and voice, mouth and lungs; the entire meaning of human life may be in them. A painting is kinesthetic and visual and spatial; it may be as small and simple as a choice of color slashed or splashed on a canvas, or a dot in an empty space. But slashes and splashes may be complex as well as simple; it is not physical size but the universe of meaning, the gestalt if you will, that they signify.
Research has identified clusters of the many aspects of creativity: originality, fluency and volume of ideas, adaptive flexibility, spontaneous/flexibility, expressional fluency, sensitivity to problems. All these can be expressed in a variety of sensory modalities, and in units large or small.
Most intelligence test items call for a single answer, already decided on by the tester; but creativity in the world is open-ended, the solutions are not known, surprises big or little may be in store for us. We should not be surprised to find that creativity as measured by test proves to be only slightly related to measured IQ. And after an IQ of 115 or 120, there appears to be hardly any relationship at all; other factors of personality and motivation take over. These include the ability and motivation to work independently and autonomously rather than in a mindlessly conforming manner, a high level of general energy and particularly psychic energy, a drive to make sense of contradictory or divergent facts in a single theory or perception, and flexibility of thought and action.
Creators on Creating - Awakening and Cultivating the Imaginative Mind
Frank Barron, Alfonso Montuori, Anthea Barron
“The artist must create a spark before he can make a fire and before art is born, the artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation.” - Auguste Rodin
The Habits that Spark your Creative Genius. Part I
While we constantly interact with our environment, our creative genius lingers in the background, waiting to be activated to produce creative expressions (style) and impressions (impact). For example, when a musician plays music, how he performs that music (tempo, tone, melody, style, and selection) is his expression, while the music he produces is the impression (the feeling and emotion) he leaves with others. Our creative expressions and impressions are the result of using these habits that we consciously nurture.
By developing our creative expressions and impressions through various sensing and action-oriented habits, we will naturally attract "sparks of creativity" or help advance creative insights on a more regular and high-quality basis.
We have identified five specific habits that work in harmony with one another to shape the anatomy of creative genius:
• Scouting forms the backbone of our creative anatomy. Scouting contains the essential orientation and energy we need to find, observe, and use to interact with stimulus and initiate the creative cycle we each possess. Scouts are always moving from place to place in advance of everyone else. A scout is a person who is observing, inspecting, and discerning what's going on in her surroundings in order to obtain information and generate insight. As if on a hunt, the scout is looking to gather fresh intelligence that will inspire creative action. Perpetual seekers, scouts love the quest and the discovery of where their journey will take them. They are natural scanners with a keen ability to either see what no one else sees or to see the same things but derive new insights.
• Cultivating is the habit of creating, growing, and developing the spaces and places in which sparks become possible and you are in a creative state of mind. Without fertile conditions, a proper environment in which to be inspired, your creative genius will not flourish and attracting sparks will be more difficult. To optimize your creative spark potential, you must first become aware of the environmental stimuli that work best for you. If you need inspiration, maybe listening to soft classical music will get your creative juices flowing. Or maybe you need the energy level that rock-and-roll can provide. Setting is also important. Maybe you prefer to be near water, or maybe a dense forest. Maybe all you need is a picture of a beautiful ocean to free your mind and let it drift into a blissful state of creativity. Or maybe a warm cup of tea and a well-worn leather chair will help you concentrate. You have many fertile spaces and places to nurture your creative genius. When you are motivated to cultivate these spaces and places, the sparks are unlimited.
• Playing represents a childlike state that helps us to feel at ease in "experimenting" with stimulus and maintaining a perpetual state of curiosity in pursuit of creative insight and spark moments. To foster genuine play, open-mindedness is necessary to help us move beyond our inhibitions and balance the occasions when "serious" or more reserved expression is considered more appropriate. Chances are, you are already playful. However, you may not fully and consciously integrate and cultivate your playful side as a way to stimulate your creative genius.
• Venturing is the essential habit of encouraging our hearts as well as our minds to make a leap into sometimes unknown-and often a bit scary-territory. It is through venturing that we develop nerve and decide to either pursue a spark of inspiration or not. In most work we nourish safe, secure, and clear actions that can be quantified, tested, and implemented. Work belongs to the realm of order and predictability, not whims, hunches, or possibilities. The many of us who experience and nurture spark moments and consciously look to exercise our creative genius often find that we have been taught to have very little faith in our ideas, and as a result, we find the habit of venturing a gamble, just as the word suggests. Very few are willing to wager their proven equity for big, new, fresh ideas.
• Harvesting is turning our sparks and ideas into something that is real and of value to ourselves and to others. Harvesting is where we yield and celebrate real results-those things that you can see, touch, feel, and experience that manifest as a result of all the hard work and energy of sparking your creative genius. Creative harvesting is not only making real the sparks and ideas you have come up with as a result of your creative journey, but also stimulating other possibilities. In other words, harvesting means bringing into concrete existence sparks and ideas and in doing so opening your creative genius to encourage more sparks. Ideas are like crops that represent the total yield of all of our creative energies and habits. Once a fertile and creative foundation is put in place through the habits of scouting, cultivating, playing and venturing, we are ready to begin harvesting our ideas into real results that more often than not will spark other new possibilities. So, for example, if someone has an idea for a new product that emerged through one of the other creative habits. such as playing, the development of the product and advancement of the product into reality is the act of harvesting. The more ideas we harvest, the bigger our bounty for stimulating outcomes will be. The process of harvesting completes the cycle of sparking your creative genius.
Stimulated. Habits to Spark Your Creative Genius.
Andrew Pek and Jeannine McGlade