Thursday, July 17, 2008

creative self

I read this article from Scientific American Mind after seeing a post about it by dozidesign.

a few bits of the article really spoke to me:

-"When children are very young, they all express creativity, but by the end of the first grade, very few do so. This is because of socialization. They learn in school to stay on task and to stop daydreaming and asking silly questions. As a result, the expression of new ideas is largely shut down. We end up leaving creative expression to the misfits—the people who can’t be socialized." - Robert Epstein

having worked on a few occasions with young children, i've wondered about this idea for years, where does creativity begin to be stymied ? this opened up a can of worms for me just beginning to think about the ways that we halt our own creativity or allow it to be halted by others.

lots of people have said to me "you're so creative," i've heard that so many times that it has taken on a persona of its own in my head - i've been told i'm creative, i think i'm a creative person, therefor i create and i maybe the most creative person i know (at least in my own head). i've begun to think about the culture or mindset among people who have established creativity as a part of their personality that makes them competitive with other people who are creative. i think we can get caught up with wanting to be the most creative person, even though we feed off of eachother and are inspired by eachother.

i think the established and affirmed creative people tend to shut out the idea that the other people could be creative to if they were allowed.

-"Creative people are productive. They may have lots of ideas that don’t work, but the point is that they have lots of ideas." - John Houtz

i often find i have so many ideas, i'm overwhelmed by choosing one direction, and i allow those overwhelmed feelings to follow me through the creative process.

one last one:

- ". . .let me give you an example of an exercise I do with people that boosts group creativity. It’s called “the shifting game.” In this exercise, half of my teams stay together for 15 minutes to generate names for a new cola. The other teams work together for five minutes, then shift out of the group to work on the problem individually, then come together for the last five minutes. Even with all the moving around, the shifting teams produce twice as many ideas as the nonshifting ones. This happens, I think, because groups inhibit a lot of creative expression. Dominant people tend to do most of the talking, for one thing. But when people shift, everyone ends up working on the problem." - Robert Epstein

i've always found this to be true but i like how Robert Epstein articulated that the dominant people do most of the talking. i'm one of those non-dominant people who lets the talkers do the talking. lately i've been struggling with trying to change this about myself so that i have a voice in group settings. i've heard that the squeaky wheel gets the oil, so i've meekly tried to force myself to become a sqeaky wheel, or at least - squeakier. the truth is i'm not sure if i can hack it!

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