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  • Writer's pictureCarolyn Land


“Creativity is a life skill that must be continually cultivated.”   Jordan Ayan

Where does creativity come from and what is it exactly? Questions in response to last week’s blog. What creativity is, is the easy part to answer. It is: imagination, ingenuity, inventiveness, cleverness, originality, innovation, individuality.   Where it comes from is a little more complicated.  We are all born creative, but developing that creative spirit does take work.  Some of us were blessed with opportunities as children to develop the right side of our brains more than others. But, it is good to know, studies have proven that, it is never too late to develop that part of your brain.

Collage by FL artist Carolyn Land

Asian Influence (New way to use a coffee filter.)

Creativity is not solely a function of intellectual ability, or a specific skill, or aptitude. It has more to do with, a life style, and the way you choose to approach things. It is what Jordan Ayan wrote about in his book “Aha!”  He says that the four elements at the heart of our creative spirit are: curiosity, openness, risk, and energy.  He calls these the C.O.R.E. of the “creative spirit”. If C.O.R.E. is at the center of our life style, a synergy will develop between that, and our ability to be more creative in our creative pursuits..

Let’s start with curiosity: Do you look at things and ask how, why, what if? If you don’t, start to. You don’t need an answer, you just need to observe and wonder.  Openness: Are you open to new ideas? Too often I hear people say I don’t know any other way.  That is how I grew up.  You read, you watch the world around you, you watch movies, TV, of course you know other ways!   Try a new way of approaching a problem, project, or task. Risks: Are you willing to take risks? These don’t have to be overt, like jumping out of an airplane.  These are trying new things. Energy: Do you pay your dues, that is; do you put the time and energy into your art life?  Remember the only way to be a good painter is to PAINT, PAINT, PAINT. And, do you put the time into being curious, open, and taking risks? It is easy to stay in your comfort zone.  It takes energy to get out of it.

If we live a life style based on C.O.R.E. we will expand and develop the creative side of our brain. In life you learn from others, but we learn more from ourselves when we challenge ourselves.   When we do, we get to know our inner self. A synergy develops between everyday life and our ability to be more creative in our art life.

“Technique must be solid, positive, but elastic, must not fall into formula, must adapt itself to the idea.  And for each new idea there must be new invention special to the expression of that, and no other.”  Robert Henri

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