Mulling over the problem in a sort of
chaos of ideas and knowledge, letting go of certainties
(forgetting). Jacob Getzel
(American psychologist) called this stage "incubation" —
engaging the intuitive, non-sequential,
or global thinking at the core of creativity.
One or more ideas surface. This is also
called "immersion" and "illumination."
The idea is tested as a potential solution
to the problem. Getzel called this "verification." This final stage often involves revision — conscious structuring
and editing of created material.
P. Torrance described a framework for creative thinking processes in his 1979 book The Search for Satori and Creativity. Torrance said the important aspects of creativity are fluency, flexibility, and elaboration. He presents ways to facilitate these by using key words and application activities. [See Torrance Framework for Creative Thinking.]
Fluency refers to the production of a great number of ideas or alternate solutions to a problem. Fluency implies understanding, not just remembering information that is learned. Flexibility refers to the production of ideas that show a variety of possibilities or realms of thought. It involves the ability to see things from different points of view, to use many different approaches or strategies. Elaboration is the process of enhancing ideas by providing more detail. Additional detail and clarity improves interest in, and understanding of, the topic.
Motivation is a necessary component in a creative person's attitude — what in psychology is called the affective domain, where we experience feelings, emotions. As vital as motivation is in conditioning one's movement toward success, it is not the only attitude needed in order to achieve. A motivated person can simultaneously doubt that he/she is able to accomplish a task successfully. Whether a person's self-doubt is reasonably founded or not, it can be a self-fulfilling prophecy; anticipation of failure easily breeds failure. When confidence-building is needed, here is how to do it: start with easy tasks, and proceed to gradually more and more challenging ones. Studies have proven that every person can learn at any age, no matter what their experience or lack of experience has been.
"A man paints with his brains and
not with his hands."
Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), Italian Renaissance artist.
"It would be a mistake to ascribe
this creative power to an inborn talent. In art, the genius creator
is not just a gifted being, but a person who has succeeded in
arranging for their appointed end, a complex of activities, of
which the work is the outcome. The artist begins with a vision — a creative operation requiring an effort. Creativity takes
Henri Matisse (1869-1954), French modernist artist.
"What a strange machine man is! You
fill him with bread, wine, fish, and radishes, and out comes
sighs, laughter, and dreams."
Nikos Kazantzakis (1885-1957), Greek novelist.
"Creative minds have been known to
survive any sort of bad training."
Anna Freud, The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense, 1946.
"The dimension that counts for the
creative person is the space he creates within himself. This
inner space is much closer to the infinite than the other, and
it is the privilege of the balanced mind — and the search for
an equilibrium is essential — to be as aware of inner space as
he is of outer space."
Mark Tobey (1890-1976), American modernist painter.
"The Conditions for Creativity: 1,
the ability to be puzzled; 2, the ability to concentrate; 3,
the ability to accept conflict and tension; 4, the willingness
to be born every day (courage and faith); 5, to feel a sense
Erich Fromm, Creativity and Its Cultivation, 1959.
"Education for creativity is nothing
short of education for living."
Erich Fromm, Creativity and Its Cultivation, 1959.
"The creative process? . . . You
must say to yourself I feel like doing so and so, I think it's
Louise Nevelson (1899-1988), American sculptor.
"The development of creativity appears
to be enhanced by certain components in the life of a child.
These variables are: 1, an open environment; 2, the active use
of creative skills; 3, the result of previous knowledge; 4, a
disciplined use of technique; 5, an association with artists."
Alicia L. Pagano, Day Care and Early Education, 1975.
"Creative people: 1, have their energy
field accessible; 2, have the ability to tap and release unconscious
and preconscious thought; 3, are able to withstand being thought
of as abnormal or eccentric; 4, are more sensitive; 5, have a
richer fantasy life and greater involvement in daydreaming; 6,
are enthusiastic and impulsive; 7, show signs of synaesthesia
(e.g., tasting color, seeing sound, hearing smells, etc.); 8,
show different brain wave patterns than the less creative, especially
during creative activity; 9, when confronted with novelty of
design, music, or ideas, they get excitied and involved (less
creative people get suspicious and hostile); 10, when given a
new solution to a problem, they get enthused, suggest other ideas,
overlook details and problems (less creative students analyze
the defects rather than explore potentials."
E. Paul Torrence and Laura K. Hall, Journal of Creative Behavior,
1980. See synesthesia.
There are four types of creativity. Creative
people fall into these four catagories: 1. Aesthetic Organizers.
2. Boundary Pushers — those who take an existing idea and push
it a little further. 3. Inventors — those who take existing
knowledge and create new ideas — the Edisons of this world.
4. The rarest group: Boundary Breakers — the Leonardos and the
A paraphrasing of Elliot Eisner (1933-), American art educator.
"The crucial variable in the process
of turning knowledge into value is creativity."
John Kao (contemporary), American author on creativity, from
his book Jamming.
"For me art shouldn't be a fixed
idea that I have before I start making it. I want it to include
all the fragility and doubt that I go through the day with. Sometimes
I'll take a walk just to forget whatever good idea I had that
day because I like to go into the studio not having any ideas.
I want the insecurity of not knowing, like performers feel before
a performance. Everything I can remember, and everything I know,
I have probably already done, or somebody else has."
Rauschenburg (1925-), American artist, quoted by Michael Kimmelman
in an article about Rauschenburg, New York Times, Arts & Leisure section 2, August 27, 2000, p. 26.
"Artists are the people among us who realize creation didn't stop on the sixth day."
Joel Peter Witkin (1939-), American photographer. See artist and photography.