Saturday, November 08, 2014

Creativity and Artistic Growth

Defining creativity will never receive a satisfactory answer and not everyone will totally agree on its meaning. However, we probably all agree that creativity is subjective and can be applied in many ways. Many blog articles could be written about this topic.

We use creativity in a wide range of circumstances and it has its strength across a vast array of applications. It can be applied to many areas to generate anything ranging from new ideas to tangible objects and everything between. In fact if there is a need, creativity is always there to offer the answer. 

On one end of the spectrum is artistic creativity, which is personal and is closely associated to the arts and other intuitive activities, and is generally seen as being pleasing, aesthetic or beautiful. 

On the other end is technical creativity that is closely linked to theories on creative thinking, commercial design and business. We see this in domains where people structure new theories, technologies or ideas in a logical manner to create something functional, or for a purpose. 

Between the two, there is a varying mix of artistic and technical creativity. Some activities may require a more technical approach whereas others may well tend more to the intuitive side. 

Because of our focus on art and paintings, I won’t focus much on the technical creativity which is more logical and is inclined to the left-brain way of thinking. For those of us who do not have the luxury of painting full time and hold more typical jobs, we know that this type of creativity is more structured or objective and is strongly influenced by analogy, science, language and time. 

Most of us associate artistic creativity with being more intuitive and associate it with the right brain way of thinking. It is more impetuous and plays to typical right brain characteristics such as being subjective, random, spatial, and spiritual with a tendency to risk taking and personal bias.

A typical characteristic of artistic creativity is that it is impulsive and tends to respond to, or act on current incentives. It gathers information via perceptions and expresses those perceptions through a medium or particular art form. Both of which are subjective to the artist’s abilities and state of mind at that point in time.

Artistic creativity is by nature personal and consequently not readily defined or understood. It is for that reason that the definition or understanding of creativity starts to break down and gets a little fuzzy.
Artistic Growth
Creativity is a contributing factor to the growth of an artist. An awareness of those contributing factors that influence the way the artist creates art is important.
Creating art is not a light bulb moment but rather a progression of evolving ideas in partnership with practical knowledge and lots of practice. Practical knowledge is logical, and can be learned from the classroom reading, experience or from an actual event.
Creativity often goes through the following stages:
  • Collection: the artist collects the raw material for creativity. He or she is constantly asking questions, talking to different people, observing different art and processing as many inputs as possible.
  • Assimilation: the artist then takes the raw material and combines it in new and interesting ways. He or she is playful and imaginative with no concerns about judging the quality of what he or she is creating.
  • Assessment: the artist assesses the ideas and determines if they’re practical. He or she thinks critically and realistically about what can actually be done.
  • Execution: the artist takes an idea that is deemed worthy and tenaciously follows it to completion. During this phase, artists overcome resistance, are courageous, and champion the idea.
The growth of the artist is not founded on a single event or idea, but rather by an endless process of examination, experimentation and innovation. Creativity is an ongoing process. So much of creating art is personal. Every artist has unique abilities to produce art that is distinctive and unmatched. They can adopt practical methods and techniques that are tried and tested or they can become innovative and develop their own. But ultimately, they are the artist, it is their journey, and they have to make their own decisions on what is needed to develop their own style of art. 
Bonnie Paruch
Painting from Bonnie Paruch.
What role does creativity play in your paintings?  Do use it to interpret photos, lessons, other paintings or do you try to create a unique body of work?

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