Whilst glancing at the magazine aisle in a local newsagent, one feature caught my attention: ‘kickstart your creativity.’ The main feature of April’s Psychologies magazine, the 18-page dossier seemed to suggest that creativity is something that everyone can cultivate, the tagline being ‘how creativity can enrich your life.’ Interesting, I thought. So I handed over £3.80 and bought a copy.
Later, whilst flicking through the glossy pages and sipping at my glass of wine, I was surprised to discover that this article did not see creativity as limited to the artistic few, but as a fundamental driving force within all of us. Three main things were stated to lie behind creativity: the ability to reflect, be curious and most important, be inspired. And thus followed a series of (five) steps which the feature seemed to promise, if followed, would unlock creative potential.
Such an attitude intrigues me. If I’m being honest, I have never seen me, Sarah, as much of a creative individual. I’ve had brief moments in which by some mysterious means I have created something like a painting, or written a song or poem. Sometimes I even surprise myself with a new way of philosophising about my life or research. Yet ultimately, I more often than not think of myself as average. This article appears to suggest that if I just open myself up more, and cultivate certain qualities in my life, then creativity can be mine and I can realise my true potential. So, considering the fact that I am researching creativity for my thesis, it seems sensible that I try to expand on and document my own. In the next few blogs, I will be trying out and commenting on each of the feature’s tips for enhancing creativity, purely to step out of the academic mindset, and focus more on what creativity feels, and looks like. Although the ontological gap between my own creativity, and the creativity of a person living in the Bronze Age is of course huge, this exercise serves as a way for me to broaden my thinking from a purely empirical data driven means of investigation, and to encompass notions of what it means to be creative as a human living in today’s world.