How to Take Advantage of the Creative Process in Your Own Way

PBS Digital Studios has just released a brilliant video focused on unwrapping the creative process. Throughout the video, an author, a cognitive psychologist, a filmmaker and a computer scientist come together to share their incredibly diverse theories of how to hone your creativity in a multitude of ways.

Although “How To Be Creative” is far from a step-to-step guide to cure a creative-block, it raises some excellent ideas. One of the most debatable notions raised by this video is that creativity isn’t a “left brain, right brain distinction.” Cognitive Psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman argues that creativity can be accomplished by opening your mind to different associations from different brain networks. Essentially, creativity is something that anyone can hone regardless of being born with it.

The importance of collaboration is also a topic that they don't take lightly. The video encourages the creation of a team or "meta-artist." Essentially, a meta-artist combines the collaborator's skills and perspectives while helping the group create a product that is much "Grander." Though many of us take pride in working alone, there is a huge benefit to collaboration by bouncing ideas and working through channels and conclusions we might not have got to alone.

Not only does this video remind us to swallow our pride and create alongside others; it reminds us that nothing is truly original since everything we see is formulated from something else. Filmmaker Kirby Ferguson continues to humble the viewer as he proves that everything we create is either copied, transformed or combined.

Vincent Van Gogh spoke of how he “...longed to be stylish, but on second thought I say no--just let me be myself--and express rough, yet true things with rough workmanship.” While Van Gogh found his creativity in being transparent and organic, Picasso found that “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.” The process of honing our creativity is incredibly rewarding, but is a process. Thus an argument could be made that success isn't found in natural creativity, but rather in how we can work relentlessly at pushing our creativity personally and collaboratively.

Feel free to post something that has helped your creative journey in the comments.

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Henry Holmes's picture

I don't mean to defend the concept of "Originality," per se, but I do think we can fall into traps of imitation, where having let go of the idea that we must make something new we also let go of the idea that there are other ways of going about it all. (And entirely "other" things we could be creating/saying/considering.)

Which might just be to say that a desire for "originality," even if it only exists within a subset of our reality, seems like a very important thing. Otherwise we just refine, and I don't necessarily believe refinement can take us to a new place, I think it just maximizes pre-existing skills and forms.

Fouda's picture

Everything is a derivative of a reality, shared or otherwise; the degree of imitation when it comes to Art, imo, is the depth of the element derived;

I can look at a picture and copy all the apparent aspects (lighting, hair & makeup, fashion, scene...etc) as is
or I can copy a more general & abstract element like the theme

That's, what i believe, it comes down to