Sunday, March 13, 2011

A few random thoughts on creativity before sleep

While teaching the History of Art and Science at DaVinci Academy, I defined Creativity as "the ability to organize raw materials and undeveloped ideas into new and meaningful products."  It was an adequate description that worked for both the arts and sciences.  But lately I've been giving my students a different definition, one that I like better:  "Creativity is choice."   For example, a finished drawing is simply the result of the choices an artist makes, such as what to draw and how to draw it.  An artist may begin with a blank white paper, then decides where to place the first pencil stroke.  Then follows with another, and another.  The process of decision making continues until the artwork is completed.   The culmination of these choices results in something unique and creative, because no two artists will make the same decisions throughout the course of a drawing.  

An artist's creativity, or in other words, his ability to make choices,  is limited by his perceptive ability, knowledge, and mastery of techniques.  Therefore, the more an artist learns and the wider his range of mastery, the greater his potential creativity. 

The concept of creativity applies to life as well as art.  Every day, we make choices about pretty much everything.  And it is the consequences of these choices that make our lives unique and meaningful.  In essence, our lives truly are a form of art and each choice plays an important part of the "artwork" we are creating.  So, the question is, "what are the consequences of the choices you are making right now?"

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