Creativity is like oxygen: a part of life. There are many areas of humanity that can never have strictly negative consequences, much like breathing oxygen, and creativity is one of those areas. Check out the Wikipedia page on creativity. There is nothing in the left hand contents bar that belies a negative impact that creativity has on humanity. Shocking arts, crazy imaginations produced on film and controversial subjects are not covered in the Wikipedia article, though to be sure, they exist. This is just the way that creative training goes. People safely unlock and tap into their dark sides and this can disturb others.
Creative training is an important part of every school curriculum. Despite how sports usually get more funding and attention, creativity is just as important to know as the knowledge of how to stay in shape. An added bonus to learning how to be creative is that it is just as cost effective as jogging around the neighborhood. Notice how some people only need a knife, whetstone and a chunk of wood to make something beautiful? Or how poets need only something to write with, or even just their memory? It may not be a wholly unique trait among Earthlings, too.
Cephalopods, dolphins, pigs and crows have all exhibited intelligence in the use of tools for survival. Cephalopods are especially creepy in this respect because, well, they are simply creepy. Like underwater spiders. That can fly. Another example is the Australian dolphin has learned to use a sponge when searching the seabed for food. This trait is apparently passed down from mother to daughter. And they are much less creepy than octopuses. So creative training happens in the animal kingdom too, it is not just a human phenomenon.
Many methods exist in order to foster, or train someone’s creativity for its own unique outlet. These following methods have been generally accepted as effective creative training techniques in both creative industries and academia:
- Establishing purpose and intention: why do you need to be creative? Is it purely an emotional outlet, or do you have ideas and thoughts that need to be expressed?
- Building basic skills: a poet needs to read poetry, practice different forms and instill rules and structure in their writing. Artists have to practice with whatever media they enjoy most.
- Going out of your way to obtain special knowledge. From the way Picasso held his brush to the mixture of paint used to make a certain color, this kind of knowledge can sometimes set the amateur apart from the professional.
- Stimulate and reward curiosity and exploration. Back to the poets: if removing yourself from the usual comfort zone is necessary, like reciting at a rap battle, then get nice and drunk afterwards. Just joking. Buy a nice pen and good paper.
- Motivate, motivate, motivate. Creativity is completely hindered without some form of motivation. Find what yours is.
These are only five ways to help creative training burgeon one creative side. There are even a few skilled businesses that offer creative training.
This article was written by Dani Suarez, on behalf of The Creativity Workshop, helping you discover and develop your creative potential. To understand the connection between creativity and cognition, you may also visit Wisegeek.com.