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Intro: The Creative Process

Updated: Jul 25, 2021

Creativity has been studied by educational psychologists for many years. Creativity is not magic. It is not bestowed by the gods on a select few. For some people, creativity seems to come easily, whereas others have difficulty being creative and inventive. It is my belief that all people are creative, but there are many who don’t know how to tap into it. There are many who are afraid to take on a creative challenge, and that’s okay. My job is to help you unlock what you don’t know you have. Art class is the time, the place, and the opportunity to find your natural creativity.

I have observed over and over again along my artistic journey that even the most creatively inclined person can lose what they do not use. I have seen students who believed they lacked creativity and imagination, with a little time and commitment, begin to develop it. The begin to realize they have talent.

Creativity is in our DNA, however, it expresses itself differently in each person. Just for fun, take the Adobe Creativity Type assessment to help you figure out how you are creatively wired, but after taking the assessment, don’t think you are locked into a single creative type.

Artmaking involves skills that can be learned. The conventional wisdom here is that while craft can be taught, art remains a magical gift bestowed only by the gods. Not so. In large measure becoming an artist consists of learning to accept yourself, which makes your work personal, and in following your own voice, which makes your work distinctive. Clearly, these qualities can be nurtured by others. Even talent is rarely distinguishable, over the long run, from perseverance and lots of hard work. – Art & Fear

Go watch Clayton Kershaw pitch a Dodgers game. You will witness the results of years of independent practice. Kershaw started pitching the baseball in high school and since then perfected his pitching game. Do you know how I know? An article I found online reports what his fellow teammates have observed about Kershaw: He had been noted multiple times as a perfectionist by his teammates and proven himself to be the best time and again.

Like any other skill that emerges and develops, creativity is in you, it’s just waiting for a creative challenge, the opportunity to express itself. Many students assume they aren’t creative or imaginative. They avoid going anywhere near it, and never give their creativity an opportunity to take on a creative project or new challenge.

Art class is that opportunity.

High school is the ideal time to tap into and begin to develop one’s own creativity. I say this from my own experience. My creativity blossomed beginning in middle school, but especially in high school.

What’s the Difference Between Imagination and Creativity?

There is a subtle diifference. Creativity needs imagination. Without imagination, you cannot do creativity. Creativity is the act of using the imagination to create something.

Your brain is really an image-making machine. You use your brain to visualize outcomes. Imagination allows us to think of things that do not yet exist around us and creativity enables and empowers us to do something meaningful with our imaginations.

Here's what Google says:

Art Across the Curriculum

Creativity is not only useful in artmaking. The creative process can be applied across the curriculum. You can be a creative scientist, creative mathematician, a creative historian; creativity enriches all the disciplines.

I am enough of the artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.

The individual who quoted above was a famous and highly creative scientist. Can you guess who it is? – No, I’m not going to tell you! If you are curious about the identity of this creative scientist, you’ll find out by going here.


The Creative Process Steps

There are different models of creativity that have been developed by really smart people who have studied in depth how creativity happens. All of these models boil down to six or seven steps. Here's a graphic I have designed to illustrate the creative process steps. I have also provided a PDF version for you to download.

creative process_steps
Download PDF • 1.51MB

Next Post: I will discuss each of the seven steps in more detail. To be continued!

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