“We don’t make a photograph just with a camera, we bring to the act of photography all the books we have read, the movies we have seen, the music we have heard, the people we have loved.” - Ansel Adams
The Nature of Creativity
Questions and (maybe) Answers. Part II
2. Are there some motives, as well as personality traits, found more often in people known for their creativity?
Yes, there is a characteristic motivational pattern to be found in the creative. One such motive is simply the desire to create! Sometimes a person recognizes creativity as valuable yet does not make it a personal guiding force or chief motive in life. "Let others create; there's a lot else that must be done, and I can do it." Certainly no one can find fault with such a laissez-faire attitude. All we can say is, creative people are not that way. They want to create, above all. Even when they are stymied by life circumstances - by lack of opportunity in their job, for example - they self-schedule to find a way to create in the future. It is a primary, and intrinsic motive.
As for personality, several traits stand out. One is independence of judgment, or the insistence on thinking for oneself. It often shows itself in resistance to conformity, or even rebelliousness against authority or the status quo. Without our creative dissidents, where would we be?
Another important trait, found consistently in the creative, is intuition. This is the ability to see to the heart of things, or to see beyond appearances. It is not logical; it may not even seem to be rational. Those crazy hunches that we get, are our intuitions - sometimes spectacularly right, sometimes embarrassingly wrong. The willingness to take the risk of being wrong and perhaps subjected to ridicule, punishment, or loss is another outstanding trait of the creative person. Such action does not mean we behave on foolish impulse, but to calculate the risks and then to take a chance. What on earth was Columbus doing when he set sail for the New World? Columbus is a symbol, whatever may have been the reality. As Herman Melville put it, "Who shall be the Columbus of the mind?"
Finally, some stylistic differences do tend to show up. Introversion is one style of personality that is a bit more often associated with creativity than is extroversion. However, there is an extroverted style of creating as well as an introverted one, and the differences are not so striking as to make us all want to be introverts. Even the same person may be introverted at one time and extroverted at another.
The ingredients of creativity naturally include originality - the ability to see things in a new way - and also a willingness to challenge assumptions (a facet of independence of judgment). The ability to make connections is also important. The traits of personality shade over into traits of cognition and motivation in giving a picture of the functioning of the creative individual.
Creators on Creating - Awakening and Cultivating the Imaginative Mind
Frank Barron, Alfonso Montuori, Anthea Barron
“If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn't need to lug a camera.” - Lewis Hine
The habits that Spark your Creative Genius. Part III
Spark at First Sight-Attracting Stimulus:
We often find ourselves attracted to moments that all of a sudden spark our imagination. The light bulb goes on and we begin to ponder the implications - sometimes rapidly, sometimes methodically. Our heart starts to race toward a destination and usually unknown path that signals excitement. The adrenalin from the spark of a good idea starts our creative juices flowing. This is what we call the spark attraction phase. The moment when an idea, thought, or aha! has us lovestruck and our minds, hearts, and even our bodies feel that tingly sensation that says we are on to something - we're stimulated and we crave more.
Creative sparks work that way. For what may seem like a long period of time we may be infatuated with an idea or set of ideas and processes before we venture into a deeper form of commitment.
If the relationship between you and an idea is going to last, you have to form more of an attachment to it and have a say in it. However, having a voice and making a sort of public vow to associate ourselves with a given idea involves risk. To create and be creative takes courage, and it takes time to feel secure in fastening ourselves toward any one idea or another. Just because we are enthused about the aha! does not necessarily mean we will stay connected to it. However, when we do, then we are ready to advance our creative efforts to bring about success.
Advancing the Spark: Steps Toward Creative Action:
Even in the best of circumstances, ambiguity is a part of the creative sparking process. While we may be swept up in the attraction of a new idea or a new trend, let's face it, when it comes time to really commit, many of us get cold feet. How many times have you had a spark moment, come up with a brilliant idea, didn't bother pursuing it, and, just when you weren't looking, someone else put the idea into action? If this has ever happened to you, you know how upsetting it can be. It's hard work to advance our creative genius and the many potentially great ideas we have percolating and steeping in our minds. It takes a lot of energy not only to bring forth ideas, but to maintain them and evolve them to the point where they can become the next big innovation.
However, like anything we do, when it comes to producing results, if we do not add fuel to the fire, then the spark, the flame, will go out. That single committed voice could just as easily become a faint sound in the wilderness -especially if it is without other voices to support it. It takes a village of individuals to share in the creation process and help nurture and grow ideas - it's tough to go it alone. So, whether the ideas percolating in your mind are ones to grow your business or ones to grow yourself as you journey through this world, having a support system to help you keep them percolating goes a long way.
Creative individuals, people who make it a habit to engage stimulus and generate sparks to awaken their creative mind, make it clear that even with a support group, expressing yourself involves risk. But the rewards can be great once you have finally found something, some idea or notion or plan that you feel will have significant impact and that you are emotionally bound and determined to make real.
During the stage of attraction we are pushing ourselves forward but we may also, need the support and commitment of others to propel ideas forward. Seldom does a creative spark advance into something of value without the help of others. Creative ideas flourish best when others become committed.
There comes a time along the creative journey, however, when we involve ourselves completely and vow to stick with the development of an idea until it has taken flight. Once we have decided to leap forward, we are at the stage of the process we call advancement. This advancement is what propels creative action to take place - we are now on to doing what needs to be done to make these ideas/sparks real.
Once you dedicate yourself to your sparks, you can accomplish great things.
Stimulated. Habits to Spark Your Creative Genius.
Andrew Pek and Jeannine McGlade