The Development of Creativity

July 18, 2010

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Recently I wrote a post about the place of creativity in human development as a whole.

In the post I also mentioned how I see the development of creativity itself.

I wrote another post on that before, where I used my model of development to describe creativity in different forms (like dancing, painting, drama, architecture, music, etc) while in my guestpost I used the model to describe the creative development in a more abstract way.

I based this abstract development mainly on a chapter of the book Science, Order and Creativity. In that chapter it became clear to me that certain aspects of creativity are important in a certain follow up.

Concerning your own creativity, it is important to interact with others (3), to have a structure (10), to be critical (6), to ask for feedback (7), to sustain focus (2) and so on. But only in a certain follow up.

Being too critical too early on might easily kill creativity. Being too focused might be focus on something that is not relevant. Asking for feedback should be done after making a good presentation. Interacting with and learning from others, as interesting as it is, might make you change your mind too easy.

So in this post I want to expand a bit on each step in the process. There is a development on three levels: pre-individual (primordial), individual and post-individual (universal), with each the follow up from energy (spirit) to manifestation (body) to interaction with others (mind) to unconscious adjustment (soul).

(The words spirit, body, mind and soul are used here in a certain context and might differ from how others use it.)

The cycle can be used for all development, but here it  is specifically used for the development of creativity.

the-development-of-creativity

PRE-INDIVIDUAL

1. There has to be space for free play.
This is an essential starting point. Maybe not a problem for some, because they take that space no matter what. But for others it might be a difficult thing to do. Just try things out, just start something and play around with it.

2. It has to be sustained, being focused and concentrated.
There is the danger of going from one to another all the time. Which is no problem in itself, but afterwards there might be a place and time to stay with something that is fascinating enough to explore further. Focus on a certain aspect, let it come into existence. Mix colors, experiment with materials, just stay with one work, without interference.

3. Learning from others, discussions and interaction.
After a certain period of concentration and focus, it is great to see what others are doing. Some might never be interested in that, but others are really curious how other people solve certain problems. Or reading books about the subject of interest. Just learning and interacting with others. Which can be very productive and interesting. But has the danger of distraction and going from one to another without much substance.

4. Using personal emotions and experiences.
In this phase personal experiences and emotions mark a certain path to go. What happens to a person, gives a certain direction to his interest and desire to explore. It is still a phase where things ‘happen’ as opposed to the next phase where the person is using his ‘free will’.

INDIVIDUAL

5. Taking a unique perspective
This is the centre of creativity. Here every personal experience comes together with every information from outside. And the individual has to filter that information and make it into a unique perspective. It is not yet materialized (that comes in the following phase) but here is the source of inner knowing that gives a confidence and perspective, a certain look on things that can not be reached any other way.

6. Develop skills, analyzing, functional and productive.
This is the phase of becoming really good at something. If the previous phases are not developed good enough, it can also be the phase of becoming really good at something that someone else thinks is important. But if it is well developed, you can make your own creative insights manifest and develop them further. Practice skills, doing things over and over again, make it more functional and producing as much as possible.

7. Presentation, feedback and working together.
Here it is time to show your work to others. Instead of producing more or improve skills, now is the time to make it also attractive. Make it look as good as possible. Search for reflection. Or looking for someone who wants to cooperate, who complements your own shortcomings.

8. Defining value and defending against attacks.
This might be the hardest part. It is the area of the psyche, of the shadow. Seeing others as enemies, as opponents. Others who might attack you. You have to defend it, but at the same time learn to see why there are attacks.

POST-INDIVIDUAL

9. See where it fits in society and start promoting.
This is the place to see the greater whole again. Seeing beyond the individual ‘I’. Look at things from a more philosophical and abstract level. Going beyond borders, maybe even literary going to travel, meet other cultures. And at the same time finding a market for your creative products.

10. Being constructive, seeking borders and becoming an authority.
Defining your own rules. Building a business around your own creative ideas. Setting up borders, constructions to build upon further. Being clear in what you can and cannot do. Being an example for others, an authority in your own field of expertise.

11. Dialogue and seeing the essence of other creative individuals.
The end result here might be something like dialogue, but it also might be something like revolution or breaking rules. It is the phase where the individual has to realize there are other individual experiences and views. There is no ultimate truth that is the same in all circumstances. And others have views that might be relevant although they might seem very challenging at first.

12. Sacrifice, selfless sharing with others.
In the end it is important to share without expecting anything in return. But this should not be to soon. Giving away to soon might make you expect something in return, even if it is unconscious. And that is even more dangerous than just expect something in return, while being aware of it. Which in its own right is just as important, but more belonging to another phase.

Annemieke

The development of creativity

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Suraj

A very interesting post. I had to read it twice to completely grasp some of the concepts, thanks!

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