If anyone knows about creativity, it's an art teacher (or former art teacher in my case). Creativity is the one consistent thread running through all art classroom activity. Yet, having said that, I have long held the opinion that, except for extreme, highly controlled, often experimental efforts, creativity cannot be taught. It can, however, be learned. Are those two statements in conflict? Teaching is an adult activity. Learning is a student (usually a childhood) activity, whether learning to draw a "stick man" or mastering the intricacies of two or three-point linear perspective. Efforts at teaching do not necessarily equate to learning, especially in an area as ephemeral as creativity.
|A "C" in history.|
|Creativity can allow you to look younger.|
Five key behaviors which optimize creativity:
1. Associating: drawing connections between questions, problems, or ideas from unrelated fields.
2. Questioning: posing queries that challenge common wisdom.
3. Observing: scrutinizing the behavior of others to identify new ways of doing things.
4. Networking: meeting people with different ideas and perspectives.
5. Experimenting: constructing interactive experiences and provoking unorthodox responses to see what insights emerge.
Beliefs that only special, talented people are creative (and have been born that way) diminish our confidence in our creative abilities. The notion that geniuses such as Shakespeare, Picasso, and Mozart were `gifted’ is a myth. In a study at Exeter University, researchers examined outstanding achievements in the arts, mathematics and sports, to find out if the widespread belief that in reaching high levels of ability, a person had to possess an innate potential called talent. Few historic artists showed early signs of promise prior to parental encouragement. Not one reached high levels of achievement in their field without devoting thousands of hours of serious training. Mozart trained for 16 years before he produced an acknowledged masterwork.