Monday, October 31, 2011

Creativity & Imagination

We hit a fantastic book sale this week-end. Pick and donate. Love that.  In the piles and stacks of books I found a small book on Creativity and Imagination by Jacolyn Mott. It is full of simple and fun activities, excerpts about people who have changed the world- an idea book of sorts. The first chapter devotes itself to developing a mind that is creative. Great stuff for artists and educators.  Here's what this author had to say:

There are 4 stages to the creative process

Preparation -a time of action, gathering facts and seeking answers. Trial and error my require detailed experiments, and pacing may be involved. At times preparation takes just a little while, and at others, it is a long and tedious process.
Incubation- Your mind continues to work, though once the preparation has been exhausted, the situation may look bleak. Your mind considers and organizes the material that you've gathered. It combines it with the material that you have gathered and stored throughout your life.
Inspiration- this is the "flash" of genius- a sudden solution to a problem.
Verification- the solution that comes from inspiration needs to be verified. It is easy to recognize in science and industry (does the Wright Brothers plane actually fly, does Edison's light bulb illuminate?). It is less obvious in other forms of creativity.

"Imagination comes from the Latin word, imago- which means likeness or picture. Imagination is the ability to form in the mind a picture or idea of something that is not present. Such pictures or ideas are like the images of a kaleidoscope. They constantly change and dissolve...only to begin again.  We make demands on imagination- for example; to recreate the past; to wonder about unfamiliar people or places; and to toy with ideas about the future."

One of my goals for the year with my drawing and writing students is to impart to them that creativity nurtures creativity. Being an artist in one field does should not limit or define you, though it often does, rather, it should challenge you. I used to own a book called, Doubly Gifted; The Author as Visual Artist and this intrigued me. So many brilliant authors were also profound visual artists.
Along those same lines, I just checked out a book of poetry by Bradbury. F451 is a must read, along with the Martian Chronicles and poetry is just another form of writing, but Bradbury's wit and humor, his eloquent use of just a few words to create stories and images is terrific. It's a totally different form of writing and Bradbury excels at it with as much distinction as the narrative.

The truly creative people that I have known personally are polymaths. They are constantly searching, wondering, seeking, creating with texts or symbols or wood or food. Their creative minds are not limited by one thing, such as a drawing pencil or piano or flour. Their minds are challenged by one thing to go to the next thing and the next and the next. It's an unending adventure.

How do you nurture creativity in your home?

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