The Process of Creativity (The following is taken from Duane and Sarah Preble's ARTFORM S, 5th edition. Footnotes and endnote's are omitted for ease of reading for this class.) Erich Fromm said, Creativity is an Attitude. We all have the potential to be creative, yet most of us were not encouraged to develop our creativity. We can do so by becoming willing to explore new relationships and insights.

The source of all art, science and technology -- - in fact, all of human civilizations -- - is creative imagination, or creative thinking. As scientist Albert Einstein declared, "Imagination is more important than knowledge". What do we mean by this ability we call creativity? Psychologist Erich Fromm wrote: In talking about creativity, let us first consider its two possible meanings: Creativity in the sense of creating something new, something which can be seen or heard by others, such as a painting, a sculpture, a symphony, a poem, a novel, etc., or creativity as an attitude, which is the condition of any creation in the former sense but which can exist even though nothing new is created in the world of things... What is creativity? The best general answer I can give is that creativity is the ability to see (or to be aware) and to respond.

Creativity is as fundamental to experiencing and appreciating a work of art as it is to making one. Insightful seeing is itself a creative act; it requires open receptivity -- - putting aside habitual modes of thought. Studies of creativity have described traits of people who have maintained or rediscovered the creative attitude. These include the abilities to: wonder and be curious be open to new experience see the familiar from an unfamiliar point of view take advantage of accidental events make one thing out of another by shifting its function generalize from particulars in order to see broad applications synthesize, integrate and find order in disorder be in touch with unconscious sources, yet be intensely conscious know oneself, have the courage to be oneself in the face of opposition be willing to take risks be persistent: to work for long periods -- -- perhaps years -- -- in pursuit of a goal The creative process of ten begins when on is inspired by an idea or faced with a problem. It can start with something as simple as "fooling around". There are as many ways to create as there are creative people, but creative processes generally have certain sequential characteristics in common: 1.

Preparation - Framing or formulating the question (s) may be the most important step; information is gathered and open-minded exploration takes place. 2. Incubation - All the preparatory work is set aside and you take time off to relax and to let intuitive insights come forward. 3.

Illumination - Sometimes referred to as the aha! Experience, it occurs when a sudden hunch or insight leads to a valuable final result. 4. Verification or revision - You test your solution, and others respond by confirming or denying your success; revision may lead you to begin the steps again. Artists as well as scientists often find that their results lead them to start over with a related project.

Imaginative visualization is major part of the creative process. When we form images in the mind's eye, we cultivate imaginative experiences outside actual events. The arts make this creative, intangible life of the mind tangible -- - visible in the visual arts, audible in music, verbal in literature. Creativity developed through art experiences enhances creative problem solving and communicating in other areas of life. Opportunities for creative expression are extremely important: they develop our abilities to integrate experiences of the outside world with those of our inner selves. For all of us -- - and especially for the very young -- - mental and emotional growth depends upon a sense of self-worth.

Because artistic endeavors have many equally "correct" solutions, each person -- - child or adult -- - has the opportunity to succeed. At certain ages and stages of development, children need plenty of encouragement to be able to express themselves without fear of being "wrong". In the arts, each child gets a chance to have his or her own right answer, to have his or her own voice heard. The following topic on the traits of creative individuals is from the 5th Edition, page 10, of Living with Art by Rita Gilbert, 1992: The literature on creativity is plentiful. Many writers and educators have tried to analyze creativity and determine what makes a person creative. While the exact nature or creativity remains elusive, there is general agreement that creative people tend to possess certain traits, including: o Sensitivity - heightened awareness of what one sees, hears, and touches, as well as responsiveness to other people and their feelings. o Flexibility - an ability to adapt to new situations and to see their possibilities; willingness to find innovative relationships. o Originality - uncommon responses to situations and to solving problems. o Playfulness - a sense of humor and ability to experiment freely. o Productivity - the ability to generate ideas easily and frequently, and to follow through on those ideas. o Fluency - a readiness to allow the free flow of idea so Analytical skill - a talent for exploring problems, taking them apart, and finding out how things work. o Organizational skill - ability to put things back together in a coherent order.