Process of Creativity

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The Process of Creativity

(The following is taken from Duane and Sarah Preble's ARTFORMS, 5th edition. Footnotes and endnotes are omitted for ease of reading for this class.)

Erich Fromm said, Creativity is an Attitude. We all have the potential to be creative, yet most of us were not encouraged to develop our creativity. We can do so by becoming willing to explore new relationships and insights.

The source of all art, science and technology --- in fact, all of human civilizations --- is creative imagination, or creative thinking. As scientist Albert Einstein declared, "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

What do we mean by this ability we call creativity? Psychologist Erich Fromm wrote: In talking about creativity, let us first consider its two possible meanings: Creativity in the sense of creating something new, something which can be seen or heard by others, such as a painting, a sculpture, a symphony, a poem, a novel, etc., or creativity as an attitude, which is the condition of any creation in the former sense but which can exist even though nothing new is created in the world of things…

What is creativity? The best general answer I can give is that creativity is the ability to see (or to be aware) and to respond.

Creativity is as fundamental to experiencing and appreciating a work of art as it is to making one. Insightful seeing is itself a creative act; it requires open receptivity --- putting aside habitual modes of thought.

Studies of creativity have described traits of people who have maintained or rediscovered the creative attitude. These include the abilities to:

wonder and be curious

be open to new experience

see the familiar from an unfamiliar point of view

take advantage of accidental events

make one thing out of another by shifting its function

generalize from particulars in order to see broad applications

synthesize,...
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