On The Creative Personality

A few years ago I came across an article online which attempted to sum up the essential characteristics of creative people. I passed it to an artist friend for her thoughts and we both felt there were some fascinating observations which we related to. This article was an extract from a book by Hungarian/American psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, entitled Creativity: flow and the psychology of discovery and invention, so I got around to ordering it in the last few months and duly digested it. Here’s a quick review I did for it on Goodreads: Bit disappointing and not very encouraging to struggling artists and writers. Only successful creatives seem to be designated as truly creative and they must make some mark or significant change in their ‘domain’ and ‘field’. Also the interviews drawn upon were heavily weighted towards scientists. The qualities of a creative person were outlined well from my perspective – the books saving grace for me.

 But notwithstanding my criticism, the fact that this was such an in-depth study based on real-life accounts from creative people, the essential characteristics Mihaly outlines I can go along with to share with you. I realise that there are so many elements of creativity in life that it’s vital not to draw strong divisive distinctions between creative and supposedly non-creative people, as there are so many things that anyone can do in a creative way. However, since I began this blog to support and share my journey with specifically creative people producing art in one sphere or another, be it painting, writing, craft or music, to hopefully help them own and nurture their creativity (which for a long time I downplayed in my own life) I feel it’s important to take a look at how our creative processes relate and draw upon our individual natures and personalities. What drives us? Why do we have to keep doing what we do? Why do we take what can be a very difficult road in life, that being opening ourselves through our work to the evaluation of others, with absolutely no guarantee of worldly success? But do we, in fact, have any choice?

Now I addressed Maslow’s take on the nature of a creative person in a previous post which was related to his concept of self actualisation, where he believes art gives creative people a vital sense of self-fulfilment through which they can hopefully achieve their full potential. And his characteristics of creative people were wonderfully validating and accurate in my own estimation. However, I thought I would widen the field and take an appraising look at what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has to say. If you look him up, you’ll find he is most readily recognised for his concept of flow:

In positive psychology a flow state, also known colloquially as being in the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting loss in one’s sense of space and time.

(well that’s certainly artists and writers for you and this echoes Maslow’s views perfectly)

Named by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in 1975, the concept has been widely referred to across a variety of fields (and is particularly well recognized in occupational therapy) though the concept has existed for thousands of years under other names, notably in some Eastern Religions for example Buddhism (and no doubt Taoism too).

To come to his conclusions in the book about the psychology of creativity and creative people, he set about studying creativity as an unfolding process covering a lifetime by conducting extensive interviews with artists, poets, writers, as well as biologists and physicists. It was a massive amount of study over 30 years of his life…

And he found 10 opposing traits held in what he calls a ‘dialectical tension’. So lets take a look at these contradictory characteristics and see where you might agree/disagree…

1. Creative people have a great deal of physical energy, working long hours with great concentration, projecting freshness and enthusiasm well into old age, yet this energy is internally generated due to a focusing of mind rather than down to physical fitness as such. On the other hand, creatives often rest and need their sleep, where they can recharge their batteries. There is a natural control of energy levels whereby activity is followed by necessary idleness and reflection.

(I think I can agree with this. It’s that laser focus which we seem to need when we are working, but followed by a resting phase that feels duly earned. On a much lighter note, my own current idleness treat is watching and relishing Game of Thrones for the second around, before the final series comes out ;>))

2. Creatives tend to be smart and yet naïve at the same time. The smartness is simply a core of general intelligence countered by a ingenuous openness to experience which can seem ‘simple’ to others. Another way he expresses this is to say there are contrasting poles of wisdom and childishness operating which enable creatives to have both logical, deduction-orientated, convergent thinking, as well as more flexible ‘off the wall’ or outside the box divergent thinking, where perspectives can be easily shifted or switched. By using both modes, creatives can come up with their original ideas but can also assess their viability for putting into practice.

(I can go with this. I’ve certainly been called naïve before, at many points in my life actually  – and most galling it was too! But It was a case of not wanting to assume or prejudge or categorise before I had made my own mind up about something. I didn’t want to pin life down, or have others tell me how it is or ‘know it’ too soon, I wanted to be excited or surprised by life. And yes, we need these two modes of thinking to do our work. In fact we need a great deal of methodical application to follow through on the creative idea, which involves a lot of plodding discipline – and discipline is certainly not what most people associate with the stereotype of an artist)

3. Creatives combine playfulness with discipline, responsibility with irresponsibility, and they need both to get their work done.

(Similar to 2. The play is sure to come before the hard work, but in practice we need to alternate between the two while we are working, and have an understanding of when to allow these functions to move upon us and through us according to where we are in the work at any given time. This is quite a magical thing, really, isn’t it?)

4. Creatives alternate between imagination/ fantasy and a rooted sense of reality. Society can view these new ideas as fantasies with no relevance to reality eg in science, but the whole point is to create a new kind of reality.

(Hmm – well yes, we have to have an imagination and we have to apply it to reality. But we can use what we find in our current reality to fuel our fantasy. There really is an interplay for me.)

5. Creatives are both introverted and extroverted, rather than predominantly one or the other. Our introvert side gets our creative work done usually in solitude and we can love being alone with this. And yet we also need and enjoy to talk about our work, sharing ideas with other creatives, bouncing ideas around, and writers certainly need to mix with a variety of people to bring ideas and observations on human nature into their work.

(On the whole, yes to this. We need to understand where people are coming from and for that we need to mix, and because we are deriving these insights, hey, we can actually relish it! But it depends hugely on the company for me. I do think we can be ‘creatively alive’ in any situation however, and that is observing, reflecting, and bringing something useful out of any encounter, any situation. This attitude also develops flexibility of feeling and thinking, which is a strength in today’s world.)

6. Creatives are proud and humble at the same time. Famous creatives can be surprisingly self-deprecating and shy. Why? Well, Mihaly says such artists know where they stand in a long line of notables before them. They therefore have a humility through this relational awareness. They also may be very conscious of the part luck has played in their achievements, or they may just want to get on with the next passionate project – they need to move on. But conversely, they also appreciate their achievements and know they have accomplished a great deal so are naturally proud.

(I come at this from another angle. I believe we are naturally proud of our work because of the effort we put into it and we have an inherent child-like delight in what we have accomplished. My mother told me as a child I would show visitors to the house my latest piece of artwork, and she explained I didn’t do it with a demeanour of showing off, but more with a wanting to share my own pleasure – a pleasure in the process of creation, I think. As for humble, yes, we put ourselves down, we struggle to ‘talk up’ what we do, we struggle with our self belief, our confidence, we are easily hurt, we are really uncomfortable with self marketing and we tend to compare ourselves unfavourably with others, we’re not able to see our own talent fully, and yet, would it help us to create if we were fine with all this, if we thought we were wonderful? Would being easily satisfied or believing anything we touched was going to turn to gold actually result in quality work? I don’t think so. So maybe having modesty is a good thing to keep us on our toes, as long as we appreciate our work too. A difficult balance, but worth the practice.

7. Creatives escape rigid gender role stereotyping. The example given is that creative talented girls can be more dominant and tough than other girls, and creative boys are more sensitive and less aggressive than their male peers. This ‘psychological androgyny’ as he calls it, refers to a person’s ability to be simultaneously aggressive and nurturing, sensitive and rigid, dominant and submissive, all regardless of gender. Creative people are more likely to have the strengths of their own gender as well as those of the other gender.

(Wow! I don’t know about this one. I was a sensitive, quiet girl who wasn’t bothered about dolls, who loved reading and drawing. But I was also assertive (even deemed bossy by one girl I thought was my best friend) and I led activities in small groups of girls for a while, as well as exploring fields where I lived and having adventures. Maybe it just comes down to creative types not being swayed by expectations from the mainstream majority? Or being somewhat on the outside looking in and therefore not having to prove they are all girl or all boy?)

8. Creatives are both rebellious and conservative. Mihaly says it’s impossible to be creative without having first internalised an area of culture. So it’s difficult to say how a person can be creative without being both traditional and conservative and at the same time rebellious. Being purely traditional leaves an area unchanged; constantly taking chances without regard to what has been valued in the past rarely leads to novelty that is accepted as an improvement. But the willingness to take risks to break with the safety of tradition is also necessary.

(Okay. Well this strikes me as a market-driven point, centred on the commercial aspects of art, concerning readers and buyers. And immediately I think of writers’ rules and conventions which when we begin our writing journey in earnest we feel we must observe at all costs. Why? For our writing to be read by a wide mainstream audience, rather than a narrow niche one that might/might not appreciate our quirks  –  too risky a strategy by far for most of us. And yet there is also the idea that rules are made to be broken for innovation, for a more personalised expression that shines out because of it’s difference from ‘the norm’ and is appreciated for exactly those qualities. You could so easily see this applying to many art disciplines. Art for art’s sake is a tricky one, so again there needs to be a balance, in this case between convention and rebellion, and we need to personally decide where we want to strike that balance in our work, because art isn’t intended to exist or thrive in a vacuum.)

9. Co-existing passion and objectivity in relation to work. Without the passion, creatives lose interest, but without objective evaluation of it, the work can be poor or lacking in credibility and quality.

(Amen to this. This is very much about the interplay between the creative right side of our minds and the critical left side working together in harmony, something which comes with time, experience and repeated practice.)

10. Creative people’s openness and sensitivity often exposes them to suffering on the one hand, and on the other, to a great deal of pleasure and enjoyment. Being alone with creating can make you vulnerable when the time comes to share. What if nobody cares? What then? Deep interest in obscure objects often go unrewarded. Divergent thinking can be perceived as deviant by the majority, so the creative person may feel very alone and misunderstood.

(Yes, and this is the risk of the path we follow. The pleasure and enjoyment simply have to hold sway over the potential negative outcomes and fears of ‘getting nowhere’. We have to find a way of handling this in ourselves. We have to know we create to bring something into existence that only we, as individuals, can do. And whatever it is, it is this which makes our lives worthwhile –  it would be a form of death to not produce what we can. That’s how strong this stuff really is and that’s why it’s important to understand what the nature of creativity is all about.)

I’ll leave you with this paragraph from the book:

Yet when a person is working in the area of his or her expertise, worries and cares fall away, replaced by a sense of bliss. Perhaps the most important quality, the one that is most consistently present in all creative individuals, is the ability to enjoy the process of creativity for it’s own sake.

And Maslow says the same, so maybe it does come down to art for art’s sake, after all!

Thoughts and discussion most welcome :>)

(pics courtesy of Pixabay)









About lynnefisher

Writer and visual artist living in Scotland, INFJ type Writer's blog: lynnefisher.wordpress.com Art: lynnehenderson.co.uk Twitter @writeartblog Writers page Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lynnefisherheadtoheadhearttoheart/ Artists page Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lynnehendersonartist/
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19 Responses to On The Creative Personality

  1. That was good Lynne, a lot of it resonated. The bit about being smart but naive has in my experience meant people have patronised me at times, which, when one is in that trusting childlike state results in a lot of delayed anger. The other comments and your replies are substantial and I will read them later and look forward to it. Busy, busy, busy……..

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      Thanks, Sylvia – so glad it resonated. I’ve experienced the same thing as you with the smart/naive dichotomy and as I think we discussed a few years ago, I pulled back on commenting too early by asking myself was it worth the potential ‘bother’ . I specifically learned this for good on a counselling course where I was the only artist there and saw real differences bewtween myself and the other people who were more guarded than me. Hope you get something out of a more in depth read – it is a long one! Enjoy your busy, busy, busy and will catch up with you soon :>)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. galenpearl says:

    An excellent post can often inspire excellent continuing discussion in the comments and responses, as here. A lot of self-reflection on this quality of creativity! When reading the list, I tried very hard to find within myself all or at least most of these traits. But truthfully I have never considered myself particularly creative, and when reflecting on the list honestly, I came to the same conclusion. Most all of us can find something to relate to in the descriptions. However, I know people I would label as “creative” who are described very well here, whereas I have to stretch a bit to find connection. That’s okay. Not everyone is a great chef. We also need people who love to eat good food!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      What a lovely reply, Galen. I wondered what you’d make of it. To me, it’s fascinating because I never really reflected upon it until a few years ago when I needed to take ownership of my own creativity. These opposing features of the list of traits and maslow’s thinking on it were what I’d been grappling with for years without really understanding where they came from or how they were operating within me. It’s been wonderful finding out how they shape other creative people but also how their dilemmas come into existential thinking on the meaning of life…and that led me to buddhism, taoism and then you! Cheers for giving it a thoughtful read, Galen!


  3. A.P. says:

    Cheers. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A.P. says:

    This is one of the finest assessments of the creative personality that I personally have ever read. I almost want to comment on each of the points consecutively. However, I would like to spin off on #8 for a bit. My spin-off, however, might have religious overtones that could confuse people who don’t know me well. Since you know me pretty well, Lynne, I’ll start this off, and perhaps you can help me to elucidate ideas that appear to be vague.

    I am definitely both rebellious and conservative. But for me, this is not a market-driven point, but a theological one. My understanding of Scripture paints mainstream culture as materialistic and dehumanizing. St. Paul asks that we “be not conformed to this world, but rather transformed by the renewing of the mind.” Jesus said that one cannot serve both God and money.

    The market-driven view of musicians; that is, that we have to “sell” our music, is odious to me. It’s something against which I continually rebel. I cannot conform to the image of the Artist as a commercial figure in any sense. My purpose is not to “make it” or to “succeed” — but to create the best Art possible, according to my own unique vision and design. In this sense, I am not “conformed to the world.” Rather, I rebel against it.

    But at the same time I seek to be conformed to an image of Christ as representing the True Self in full actualization. There was nothing conformist or hypocritical about Jesus, and there should be nothing conformist or hypocritical about me. So, in a sense, I try to conform to the image of Christ in me. For me, that requires a deep understanding of how Holy Scripture informs my true identity. And it just happens that my true identity is in rebellion against the corrupt values of a money-driven, power-driven world.

    So this might be another interpretation. I shun conformity to the world, and I avidly seek the renewing of my mind, to the actualization of my highest self.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      Wow, Andy, this is powerful stuff. Leaving God out of it, if I may, if I think about being rebellious/conservative in the spiritual sense you are coming at it from, then I can relate from the point of view of always having had a battle going on inside me between wanting to be a free spirit doing my creative work to the absolute best of my ability come what may, countered by having to life in the ‘real world’ which is driven by the conservative mainstream and therefore feeling my work has to be viable in a monied sense to be successful. Actualisation has to come first for me too, but it can be so difficult to keep that state of being untainted by pressures from a conservative mindset which drives the majority. I don’t think I will ever solve this for myself. It’s a problem which comes over me in waves and I just have to ride them out. One thing is for sure, there is no perfect life attainable, despite doing what one feels one was meant to do! Does this response make sense?

      Liked by 1 person

      • A.P. says:

        Of course, please feel free to leave my personal concept of Deity out of any Artistic conversation. The conflict you describe, if I understand you, is something I struggle with more and more, the more creative I feel, and the more my Art is driven by fire or passion. Just now, for example, I found it hard to resist embarking on a dialogue for a new play. I started to sketch out three scenes before something stopped me. What stopped me, to my view, might best be described as a mandatory adherence to certain tenets of the mainstream that, while they rail against my Artistic ideals, are simply necessary in order to function in organized society. That is, were I to drop everything, following my passion, and embark on the writing of a new musical play, I would no longer have the time or mental wherewithal to manage all the details of producing the musical I just finished (not to mention publishing my book, getting my articles turned in, and all the while remembering to eat, sleep, show up for work on time, etc.) And yet, something within me tells me that the new musical as conceived stands to be so much better than the current one, that my passionate heart tells me to drop everything. My rational mind, however, informs me that this is folly. And this is a perennial struggle, I think, for any purpose-driven Artist.

        Admittedly, some are more adaptable than others. Charles Ives was an insurance agent by day and a brilliant, innovative composer by night. I, on the other hand, wrote my best music when I was living an unscheduled life of homelessness on the Berkeley city streets. Because I equate my spirituality with my Art to a large degree, I find that adherence to mundane mainstream principles (e.g., showing up a specific place at a specific time), affects in an adverse way my spirituality (i.e., my sense of aliveness, of fire, of purpose, of ecstasy — all the things that connect me to that which is magical or divine.

        Yet, yet, I must make a living. I think I told you that in 2004 I wrote an entire musical, book music & lyrics while in the process of losing my job, my house, my car, and my shirt. To equate Artistic prowess with practical, fiscal conservatism is a lifelong challenge. The mainstream at times seems like an incessant leak in a roof. It annoys me just enough to distract me from my creativity. But if there were no roof at all (i.e., if I were still homeless), I would have no protection from the torrential downpour that would put out my fire completely.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lynnefisher says:

        Ah, I understand the point in your first paragraph! I’m editing After Black and while I’m doing it I can’t let myself do anything new, as I owe my allegiance first to this new novel. If I stop editing and go onto the memoir, for example, I will lost the sharp thread and a specific kind of left-brained concentration I’m currently needing to get to the end – and that has to be observing the ‘manatory adherence’ you identify. So my right brained side has to wait – like your new musical seems to have to. What you could do is plot it out or do some mind-mapping on it, so you have got something concret to go to to follow this passion when you feel you have the space from the current musical production stuff. But it is hard to quell the impulses to get on with something new and it does feel like a real grind for me at the moment! So yes, this must be a common struggle.

        The fact that I can feel stale and in a rut right now (which I really do! – and dare i say it, even bored!, which is nothing I ever usually complain of and has been worrying me) correlates with your second point about the spiritual side been suppressed. Through chatting to you about this, I’ve suddenly realised (lightbulb moment!) that may be the problem I’m having at the moment. I’m not doing anything new, but rather going over what has already being done with a fine tooth comb and am certainly lacking spiritual lustre. So even leaving God out of the spirituality, the result is just the same as for you presently.

        Yes, artistis prowess and the need to do it come what may is so at odds with having to make a living. Survial first, and then ‘having a room of own’s own’ to do the work in have to be there in place. That’s what Maslow was saying too. Thanks so much for sharing, Andy. This is exactly what I do this blog for – this kind of though and feeling sharing, linked to the creative life!

        Liked by 1 person

      • A.P. says:

        I appreciate this, Lynne. While it’s just as hard to imagine you being in a “slump” as it is for others to imagine *me* being in one, a therapist once told me something I’ve found valuable about the concept of ‘incubation.’ Even when I think I’m doing nothing (for example, with the last leg of the Vocal Score), my unconscious mind is hammering away at it just as feverishly as ever. In an instant of illumination, the pressure cooker will burst, and four of five “Aha!” moments will burst into my conscious mind at once. Since that’s the way it always works, I have faith that it will do so again. And faith is the essence of spirituality – for me. Till next time.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lynnefisher says:

        I do find it difficult to imagine you in a slump, Andy. But I think your therapist is right about incubation. Even if we aren’t aware of what we are incubating particuarly, I expect a drive is building up, waiting for freedom and the right time to bring further creative action forth! So here’s to keeping the faith! Cheers, Andy :>)

        Liked by 1 person

  5. inkbiotic says:

    Another fascinating blog. I can relate totally to the idea of bliss when being creative, but the other creative people I know don’t seem to enjoy it all. I was starting to think it was just me. Do you think that bliss is essential? Or can it be a disadvantage at times?

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      No, it’s not just you, Petra. I can feel it when I’m painting – a relaxed state of satisfying absorption. I find writing more intense so I wouldn’t describe that as bliss, more the feeling of having to be there, doing it, and as long as I’m doing it, I’m where I’m meant to be. Plus a feeling of satisfaction after a session or when reading it later on in the editing. I get tense if I haven’t done any writing related stuff because I’m getting (or choosing it as) my primary meaning at this time in my life.

      I’m wondering whether the creative people you refer to not enjoying their work are imposing too many rules and rigid concepts onto themselves and their work? There is so much information and so many rules out there relating to ‘correct’ art practice, that it would be easy to be overwhelmed by it all (I know I went through a phase of this with both painting and writing, which I had to put an end to) It can result in damaging comparing of one’s own work to others and with us all being online now this is all too easy to do. I’d be curious to know what was going on underneath with the artists you know struggling with not enjoying their art practice – it seems to defeat the purpose of being an artist or a writer altogether. Another possible angle is the adopting of the mindset that you have to suffer for your art for it be ‘good’ and that is something else altogether – art on a high pedestal again, where not ‘just anyone’ can do it. very elitist!

      Bliss being essential – well, perhaps pleasure should be essential, otherwise what’s the point? But bliss as in ectasy and blinkered adoration, that probably would be a disadvantage because the inner critic which we need to evaluate and assess would be walking off in disgust, washing their hands of us and the quality of the work. It’s funny, I recently finished a painting which had been sitting on my art desk for over a year. I cracked on and finished it recently then assessed it and it niggled me so much I ended up getting my paints out again and extending one of the euphorbia branches by an inch so that I could then enjoy the painting! There just has to be a balance between bliss and evaluation, too much of one or the other has got to be counterproductive. It’s a pretty complex topic to put into words compared to sitting down and just doing it, isn’t it?

      Liked by 2 people

      • inkbiotic says:

        The satisfying self-absorption is something i get usually when painting. The bliss (as in ecstasy and blinkered adoration!) is what I often get when I write. And yes, it is a problem for exactly the reason you say. It means I can’t see flaws. It made me a very slow writer (albeit a very happy one) for a long time.

        I’m trying to make a shift now into calmer, more aware writing, and I think I’m getting there, certainly I’m producing more. People understand it more.

        Although the sheer delight is less, I guess i had to make a decision: am I writing because it makes me feel euphoric, but is only for me? or am I writing for others, in which case I need more focus and the joy will be less. I decided on the second option. Or as you say, the balance.

        I’m still seeing how it works out. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • lynnefisher says:

        Okay, well we’re the same for painting. I came to writing from a considered, can I really do this, angle, which I did with the OU for their teaching, rather than it coming purely from me, so to speak, then it flowered into bursts of adoration because I found I could do it. I sent stories off to some major competitions really hoping I’d get somewhere, because why shouldn’t I, what I had given ‘them’ was ‘very good’ in my own estimation and then of course I was crushed when they weren’t selected. I did the competitions following the line that we’re supposed to build our writer’s cv – so that was a learning curve! And quite frankly I’m done with cvs now. Then I tried to find a balance between loving it, loving the challenge of it, the sheer scope of it, countered by the evaluation. I think it just takes practice, Petra, and if your novels are anything to go by (and yes, they are so different in style perhaps showing your shifting approaches) you’re doing fine! Yes, the delight will be less this way, but the payoff is people of a wider range are more likely to engage and appreciate if there is some degree of meeting expectations or needs. One thing I’m wary of though is supposedly having to mould a WIP to meet specific genre expecations. The writers equivolent of art for art’s sake could be write it and see where it might fit! Thanks for sharing and wishing you well with your balance! I know what my own ‘extravagances’ are with descriptions for example and I’m trying to cut down, but they bring me pleasure, so they will always have to be there somewhere!

        (and lastly, it’s good to have someone else who writes as well as paints to chat too – not so common out there in blogland)

        Liked by 1 person

      • inkbiotic says:

        I’ve never done well in competitions, I’m never that sure about the kind of writing that does win them either.

        Wishing you well with your writing and painting too. Your method is clearly working! I’ll never be the accomplished painter that you are, but it’s always enjoyable to talk about. Nice chatting with you 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I think I admire your ability to read these books – I wanted to leave a brief note in the end just to say that ‘Creativity for its own sake’ is the key for me. (I admit that sometimes I am irritated by the ‘learned’ folk who write books and who attempt to turn something that is not an academic pursuit into an academic production.) I too think there are so many forms of creativity that enliven the world beyond what is seen in galleries, or published in some way, or applauded by the critics of the world. Creativity is the human expression of an individual’s experience of themselves within the world. Some of us seek to make beauty wherever we go, some create beautiful gardens, some use paint on canvas and some paint on walls. Some seek to awaken a passer by with the need for a second look simply by placing a piece of wood on top of a stone so that we must stop and ask ourselves is that natural, how did that get there, how is that balanced, isn’t that wonderful! (I have a friend who does this quite often) All of these things are creativity in action. And there are a bazillion other ways to express our connection with the world. I have a feeling if we encouraged our children to be creative in their thinking and with their hands the world would be a gentler, kinder and more enjoyable place. Sometimes I think schools should make that their goal instead of their current insistence on passing tests. Make more art and talk less about making art 🙂 Good heavens, that was a ‘brief note’ 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • lynnefisher says:

      Thank you for your brief note, Pauline! Very similar to one of my ‘brief notes’! and wonderful feedback. You say: ‘Creativity is the human expression of an individual’s experience of themselves within the world’ – that sums it up beautifully. I can so agree with that, and I too dislike the way the simplicity of this is twisted into highbrow concepts with ‘musts’, ‘shoulds’ and ‘oughts’ imposed and having to measure up to conceived and received standards and placing art on a pedestal to elevate it and justify it. I suppose even books written on the psychological nature of it, Like Mihaly’s, are attempting to box it in and restrict it’s openness to everyone. That’s why I’m with Maslow for the most part. As you are saying, art is a fundamental part of human nature (which is more where Maslow is coming from) – perhaps it’s in this manner it should be approached more within schools, because school really does have a powerful influences upon people at an early age with regard to attitudes to art in general and art practice. I was put off by my art teacher and didn’t pursue it, same for writing. Science was being rated so highly at the time, I swam along in that stream instead, only to discover many years later that I was in the wrong stream! This division between science and art is also rooted in the education system to this day. Many thanks for sharing! PS – I do enjoy reading these books and assimilating what I can, but my aim is to draw simple conclusions that feel like the truth because I suspect the truth is found in simplicity!

      Liked by 1 person

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