Learning Creativity

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Strategies, techniques, tactics, and behaviors that enhance creativity. Aimed specifically at art students, these are applicable to all.

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  • during a recent retreat the faculty identified those learning outcomes were the best predictors of student success
  • we teach facts concepts and attitudes facts are easyso why is creativity so difficult?
  • we teach facts concepts and attitudes facts are easyso why is creativity so difficult?
  • GENETIC!
  • ALSO GENETIC!
  • STIMULTATION, CONTACT TIME W/ ADULTS, BIRTH ORDER, CHILD HOOD TRAUMA
  • in general, instructors do a great job of dealing with creativity from an adaptive perspective creating environments that are permissive
  • in general, instructors do a great job of dealing with creativity from an adaptive perspective creating environments that are permissive
  • so I will focus on a cognitive perspective which focuses on teaching directly to the outcome
  • U GRAPH OF CONVENTIONALITY UNCANNY VALLEY
  • U GRAPH OF CONVENTIONALITY UNCANNY VALLEY
  • the chinese philosophers stone is a great example of how process shape the mundane into the extraordinaryrather than tap your pencil on your forehead, get up and do something
  • Johnathan Schooler verbal overshadowing visual recognition and insight problems the bandwidth of preconscious is large the bandwidth of language small
  • Learning Creativity

    1. 1. thinking about the box<br />reconsidering creativity <br />
    2. 2. What we typically teach in art courses<br />elements and principles<br />disciplinary studio skills<br />problem solving<br />creativity<br />work ethic<br />studio citizenship<br />perception/acuity<br />critical self reflection<br />social production/collaboration<br />aesthetic theory<br />communication skills<br />art historical context<br />social context/ visual culture<br />
    3. 3. What we typically teach in art courses<br />As important as all of these knowledges and skills may be, this long list can be reduced to 4 traits that predict whether or not a student will be successful in their art/ design degree<br />elements and principles<br />disciplinary studio skills<br />problem solving<br />creativity<br />work ethic<br />studio citizenship<br />perception/acuity<br />critical self reflection<br />social production/collaboration<br />aesthetic theory<br />communication skills<br />art historical context<br />social context/ visual culture<br />2<br />1<br />3<br />4<br />
    4. 4. predictors of student success <br />curiosity<br />1<br />
    5. 5. predictors of student success <br />work ethic<br />curiosity<br />1<br />2<br />
    6. 6. predictors of student success <br />work ethic<br />curiosity<br />1<br />2<br />3<br />critical self reflection<br />
    7. 7. predictors of student success <br />work ethic<br />curiosity<br />1<br />2<br />3<br />critical self reflection<br />creativity<br />4<br />
    8. 8. predictors of student success <br /> curiosity<br /> work ethic<br />critical self reflection<br /> creativity<br />Any one of these is not sufficient. While not causally dependant, these traits are entailed & entangled with each other.<br />
    9. 9. predictors of student success <br />We will address them as a single complex we will call<br />Creativity<br />
    10. 10. creativity is a complex<br />Creativity is studied in several fields using numerous perspectives.<br />No less than eleven creativity perspectives identified by Runco, 2006<br />
    11. 11. creativity is a complex<br />
    12. 12. creativity is a complex<br />
    13. 13. creativity is a complex<br />
    14. 14. creativity is a complex<br />
    15. 15. creativity is a complex<br />
    16. 16. creativity is a complex<br />
    17. 17. can creativity be learned? <br />yes<br />no<br />The degree to which an individual believes that creativity is learnable <br />depends upon their perspective and understanding of creativity.<br />
    18. 18. two primary approaches<br />creativity<br />In order to make students more creative, instructors can use two approaches:<br />Teach cognitive Use adaptive<br />strategies strategies<br /> permission<br /> safety<br /> encouragement<br /> modeling<br /> expectations<br /> behaviors<br /> techniques<br /> tactics<br /> strategies<br /> mental habits<br />
    19. 19. Adaptive strategies<br />creativity<br />I will provide & you should take advantage of a learning environment that promotes creative thinking.<br /> Adaptive strategies:<br /> permission values experimentation & a variety of solutions<br /> safety freedom to fumble & fail & look “stupid” along the way<br /> encouragement supportive of real effort and accomplishment<br /> modeling instructor demonstrates creative values and techniques<br /> expectations sets & communicates clear and constant goals<br />
    20. 20. Cognative stratagies<br />creativity<br /> Cognitive strategies:<br /> mental habits recognize conventional thinking, creativity blocks<br /> behaviors think with process<br /> strategies shift paradigms, synaesthesia<br /> tactics x-ternalize thinking, visual research, role play, x-ray vision<br /> techniques divergent, convergent<br />
    21. 21. creativity<br /> mental habits<br />
    22. 22. conventional thinking<br /> mental habits <br />creativity<br />unconventionality<br />age<br />Numerous studies over the years have established a strong correlation between age and conventional thinking. Your cohort is currently near the bottom of the “creative valley”. Your thinking tends to be highly conventional.<br />based on Piaget, 1970,1976; Kohlberg,1987; Johnson 1985<br />
    23. 23. conventional thinking<br /> mental habits <br />creativity<br />but take heart: <br /> the studies were randomized. as art students you have already “skewed” the sample” so this is less predictive for this group.<br />also, there are, of course, individual variations. your results may vary.<br />this is not meant to impugn your creativity, rather it is meant as a challenge and a check: suspecting that your thinking is not as original as it may at first seem to you is key to unlocking your creativity.<br />based on Piaget, 1970,1976; Kohlberg,1987; Johnson 1985<br />
    24. 24. creativity blocks<br /> mental habits <br />creativity<br />stress<br />Stress is not only a distraction which drains energy which could otherwise be used <br />creatively. It is bad for one&apos;s health. Creativity is Play!routines<br />Routines or set ways of performing tasks have their uses, but they can limit the range of responses available and can lead to the development of the anathema of creativity, the &quot;bureaucratic mind”. &quot;The will to a system is a lack of integrity.&quot; –Nietzsche<br />goal directed behavior <br />Overly focusing on goals rather than process limits perception and blinds us to possibility.<br />A straight line is the scalpel with which we excise opportunity.<br />beliefs<br />Having a strong belief in something not only limits our response options, but causes us to limit the way in which we perceive and process information from the outside world. We may &quot;filter out&quot; information which contradicts our belief, and end up in our own &quot;reality tunnel&quot;, blissfully unaware of much that occurs in front of our very eyes. ego<br />One must be humble before one&apos;s subject. Having a strong ego identity with a particular belief exacerbates the realty tunnel. This is not to imply that one must have no beliefs, <br />merely that one needs to be very aware of one&apos;s beliefs and consequent limitations. <br />fear<br />Fear of self expression and of the judgment of others can severely limit one&apos;s creativity. <br />self criticism <br />Negative thinking and self criticism are also limiting factors of an individual&apos;s creativity. <br />
    25. 25. creativity<br /> behaviors<br />
    26. 26. I hear: I forget.I see: I remember.I do: I understand. Chinese proverb<br />think with process<br /> behaviors <br />creativity<br />i hear: i forget.i see: i remember.i do: i understand. chinese proverb<br />
    27. 27. I hear: I forget.I see: I remember.I do: I understand. Chinese proverb<br />think with process<br />the 500ms. delay<br />even for simple volitional acts consciousness lags half of a second behind readiness potential. we have made our decisions<br /> and have initiated our actions before we consciously decide to act. <br /> behaviors <br />creativity<br />readiness <br />potential 2<br />-0.5 s.<br />act<br />conscious<br /> wish<br /> -0.2 s.<br />readiness <br />potential 1<br />-1 s.<br />&quot;the role of consciousness in our decisions is greatly overestimated&quot;<br /> -tor norretranders <br />based on Libet, 1979; Keller and Heckhausen, 1990<br />
    28. 28. I hear: I forget.I see: I remember.I do: I understand. Chinese proverb<br />think with process<br />rapid cognition<br />malcolm gladwell&apos;s blink, (2005) makes the case for &quot;thinking without thinking&quot; citing numerous studies and examples that reveal how subconscious processes that he calls &quot;thin slicing&quot; allow us to make better decisions and more accurate predictions for problems involving several variables or multiple dimensions with little conscious decision making. <br /> behaviors <br />creativity<br />
    29. 29. think with process<br /> behaviors <br />creativity<br />rapid cognition<br />500 ms. delay<br />preconscious perceptivity & creativity are reactive. try to put put consciousness in charge of planning the strategy and allow the preconscious to evaluate progress, readjust tactics and resolve the problem.<br />thinking with process = preconscious &quot;thinking&quot; = visual thinking<br />
    30. 30. I hear: I forget.I see: I remember.I do: I understand. Chinese proverb<br />think with process<br /> behaviors <br />rapid cognition<br />500 ms. delay<br />creativity<br />when in doubt do something<br />the point is not to think less, rather to think differently.<br />avoid a &quot;plan and execute&quot; division of process<br />the journey is the destination.<br />in creative works problem finding is more critical than problem solving.<br />process is a collaborator– &quot;our actions think louder <br />than words&quot;<br />
    31. 31. creativity<br /> techniques<br />
    32. 32. techniques<br />convergent thinking<br />creativity<br /> attribute listing<br /> bug listing (seinfeld whine)<br /> problem reversal<br /> force-field analysis<br /> change perspective<br />
    33. 33. techniques<br />divergent thinking<br />creativity<br /> lateral thinking<br /> associative thinking<br /> bisociation (forced analogy)<br />
    34. 34. creativity<br /> strategies<br />
    35. 35. communication model<br />machine model<br />catalyst model<br />diagnostic model<br />shift paradigms<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />mapping model<br />force/field model<br />pointing model<br />
    36. 36. communication model<br />shift paradigms<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />what does the artwork say?<br />what do I want to say?<br />standard model<br /> artwork<br />meaning<br />meaning<br /> artist<br /> viewer<br /> encode<br /> decode<br /> transmission<br />medium<br />
    37. 37. communication model<br />shift paradigms<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />what does the artwork say?<br />what do I want to say?<br />corrected communication model<br /> artwork<br />meaning<br />meaning<br />meaning<br /> artist<br /> viewer<br />meaning<br /> encode<br /> decode<br /> transmission<br />medium<br /> “noise”<br />
    38. 38. communication model<br />shift paradigms<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />what does the artwork say?<br />what do I want to say?<br />deconstruction/feminist communication model<br /> artwork<br />meaning<br />meaning<br />meaning<br /> artist<br /> viewer<br />meaning<br /> transmission<br />medium<br /> “noise”<br /> “noise”<br /> “noise”<br />
    39. 39. shift paradigms<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />machine model<br />what does the artwork do?<br />what do I want it to do?<br />In this model artworks do not create meaning, they create effects<br /> artwork<br /> artist<br /> viewer<br /> machine<br /> consumer<br /> inventor<br /> effects<br />
    40. 40. shift paradigms<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />machine model<br />what does the artwork do?<br />what do I want it to do?<br />applied arts such as advertising, interior & product design most <br />often use a machine model– the machine is a “tool” used to alter the viewer <br /> artwork<br /> artist<br /> viewer<br /> “tool”<br />
    41. 41. shift paradigms<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />What relationships does the artwork show?<br />what do I want to show?<br />mapping model<br /> key<br /> artwork<br /> territory &<br />terrain<br /> mode of<br />Investi-<br />gation<br /> filter<br /> artist<br /> viewer<br /> scale<br />important features<br />level of detail<br />style<br /> representation<br />
    42. 42. shift paradigms<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />What is the territory?<br />How do I know what to look for?<br />What are the landmarks?<br />How are they related?<br />mapping model<br /> key<br /> artwork<br /> territory &<br />terrain<br /> mode of<br />Investi-<br />gation<br /> filter<br /> artist<br /> viewer<br /> scale<br />important features<br />level of detail<br />style<br /> representation<br />
    43. 43. shift paradigms<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />What style of representation is appropriate?<br />At what level of detail (resolution)?<br />Have I provided a key? <br />mapping model<br /> key<br /> artwork<br /> territory &<br />terrain<br /> mode of<br />Investi-<br />gation<br /> filter<br /> artist<br /> viewer<br /> scale<br />important features<br />level of detail<br />style<br /> representation<br />
    44. 44. shift paradigms<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />catalyst model<br />What reactions does the artwork create?<br />What reactions do I want?<br />viewer<br />viewer<br />artwork<br />viewer<br />viewer<br />artist<br /> effect<br />
    45. 45. shift paradigms<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />catalyst model<br />focus on creating social change or interaction<br />rather than communicating meaning<br />viewer<br />viewer<br />artwork<br />viewer<br />viewer<br />artist<br /> effect<br />
    46. 46. shift paradigms<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />catalyst model<br />The artwork can be an object or design but often it is <br />performative or an event <br />viewer<br />viewer<br />artwork<br />viewer<br />viewer<br />artist<br /> effect<br />
    47. 47. shift paradigms<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />What forces & fields are displayed?<br />Upon what influences, powers & spheres should I draw?<br />What agencies, authorities & domains are in play?<br />force/field model<br /> artwork<br /> forces<br />filter<br /> perception<br />analysis<br /> viewer<br /> domain<br /> scope<br />important features<br />level of complexity<br />style<br /> “flow chart”<br />
    48. 48. shift paradigms<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />In the “weak” force/field model the artist perceives,<br />processes and encodes domains for display to the viewer<br />force/field model<br /> artwork<br /> forces<br />filter<br /> perception<br />analysis<br /> viewer<br /> domain<br /> scope<br />important features<br />level of complexity<br />style<br /> “flow chart”<br />
    49. 49. shift paradigms<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />In the “strong” force/field model the artist is not an observer, The artwork is an effect of forces at work on the artist. The reception of the artwork is an effect of the forces at work on the viewers. <br /> forces<br />force/field model<br />artwork<br /> forces<br /> forces<br /> forces<br /> forces<br /> forces<br /> forces<br /> domain<br />
    50. 50. shift paradigms<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />diagnostic model<br />What is the artwork a symptom of?<br />Whatdoes the artwork indicate or reveal?<br />artwork<br />meanings<br />intended<br />meaning<br /> viewer<br /> artist<br />decode<br />symptoms<br />unintended meanings<br />symptoms<br />
    51. 51. shift paradigms<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />diagnostic model<br />in this model the artist’s intended meanings are the primary<br />focus during creation, but are only of secondary importance<br />In the reception <br />artwork<br />meanings<br />intended<br />meaning<br /> viewer<br /> artist<br />decode<br />symptoms<br />unintended meanings<br />symptoms<br />
    52. 52. shift paradigms<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />diagnostic model<br />artworks are” read” for clues or evidence of of underlying<br />forces or conditions at work in the the artist or in society<br />artwork<br />meanings<br />intended<br />meaning<br /> viewer<br /> artist<br />decode<br />symptoms<br />unintended meanings<br />symptoms<br />
    53. 53. shift paradigms<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />pointing model<br />what discovery, experience or concept does the artwork share?<br />how do I present my interest so that the viewer shares my experience?<br /> artist<br /> viewer<br /> artwork<br />
    54. 54. shift paradigms<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />pointing model<br />this model represents the fundamental function of all artworks: to redirect the attention of viewers. It is not so concerned with communication per say, rather it is an attempt toreplicate the artist’s experience, curiosity, or enthusiasm in the viewer<br /> artist<br /> viewer<br /> artwork<br />
    55. 55. shift paradigms<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />pointing model<br />Although all artworks “point” in this way, by focusing on the pointing model artists make an important shift from making work that is “about” a concept or experience to work that participates in the concept or experience as much as possible <br /> artist<br /> viewer<br /> artwork<br />
    56. 56. synaesthesia<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />medically: involuntary linking of 2 or more senses<br />artistically: translation of one sense into another<br />
    57. 57. synaesthesia<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />smell <br />There are the “traditional”<br />5 senses, but also other<br />bodily sensations such as<br />balance, tension, arousal,<br />hunger, etc. <br />becoming consciously aware<br /> of our physical responses & <br />tapping into sense memories<br />provide important resources<br />for generating creative <br />solutions to visual problems<br />that are less prone to be<br />based on cliché symbols...<br />hearing <br />taste<br />balance<br />tension<br />touch<br />arousal<br />
    58. 58. synaesthesia<br /> teach:<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />Symbolic approaches to depict “death”<br />black<br />coffin<br />skeleton<br />grim reaper<br />blood<br />ghost<br />black rose<br />cliché<br />
    59. 59. synaesthesia<br /> strategies <br />creativity<br />synaesthetic approaches to depict “death”<br />acrid, sweet stench of moldering flesh; the smooth, or serene aroma of lilies. what does death smell like? <br /> does death have the tension of rigor mortis or the repose of release? what does death feel like?<br />is death as solid and weighty as packed earth, as open and airy as a picked carcass, or as ephemeral as a cold breath on your cheek? What is the tactile quality of death?<br />does it sound like a hushed and empty silence or have the stretched, rounded sonority of a funeral dirge? What does death sound like? <br />
    60. 60. creativity<br /> tactics<br />
    61. 61. tactics<br />creativity<br /><ul><li> externalize your thinking: keep a journal</li></li></ul><li> tactics<br />creativity<br /><ul><li> research: the easiest way to get out of your own </li></ul> head is to get into somebody else’s<br />
    62. 62. tactics<br />creativity<br /><ul><li> game 1: always assume that you are wrong…</li></ul>this will test your thinking and push you on to alternative solutions, conceptions & perceptions.<br />
    63. 63. tactics<br />creativity<br /><ul><li> game 2: habitually play “could be…what if…”</li></ul>look at things not just as they are, but what they could be<br />airplane<br />Mccroskey (showing map): what do you make out of this? <br />Eugene: This? I can make a hat, or a broach, or a teradactyl!
mccroskey: gimme that!<br />
    64. 64. tactics<br />creativity<br /><ul><li> develop x-ray vision</li></ul>x-ray vision is the awareness of seeing into or trough something. it is different from transparency in that we are aware of the surface and the depth simultaneously.<br /> for example, usually a windshield is transparent- we see beyond it w/o seeing the glass. however if the glass is dirty or it is raining we can see the glass AND beyond it simultaneously. in an x-ray we typically see traces of exterior structures simultaneously with the internal structures.<br />
    65. 65. tactics<br />creativity<br /><ul><li> develop x-ray vision</li></ul> for the purposes of creativity x-ray vision has two uses, one metaphoric and the other literal<br /> well…<br />i believe it is literal, but if it helps, you can think of it as metaphoric also…<br />
    66. 66. tactics<br />creativity<br /><ul><li> develop x-ray vision</li></ul>as a metaphor x-ray vision refers to the ability to hold two frames of reference simultaneously and thereby reveal new aspects and relationships that were previously “hidden below the<br />surface”<br />frame 1 (surface): 1950’s stock photo image of girls<br /> gossiping or sharing a secret.<br />
    67. 67. tactics<br />creativity<br /><ul><li> develop x-ray vision </li></ul>as metaphor<br />frame 1 (surface):: 1950’s stock photo image of girls<br /> gossiping or sharing a secret.<br /> frame 2 (depth): “encountering the double” (doppelganger;<br /> evil twin; ka; subconscious; id/ego;<br /> inner voice, inspiration) <br />
    68. 68. tactics<br />creativity<br /><ul><li> develop x-ray vision </li></ul>as metaphor<br />the key concept is to hold two frames of reference simultaneously<br />
    69. 69. tactics<br />creativity<br /><ul><li> develop x-ray vision </li></ul>literally<br />imagination & expectation play a big role in regular vision. the mundane fact that we seem to see things when we can physically only see light hints at how much imagination is already involved in “normal” seeing. X-ray vision takes many of the projective activities in which our preconscious brain already engages and attempts to put them under conscious control.<br />
    70. 70. tactics<br />creativity<br /><ul><li> develop x-ray vision </li></ul>literally<br />a common example of x-ray vision occurs in figure drawing classes. typically students learn anatomy, especially bones, major muscle groups and insertions (where and how muscles connect to the bones). students use surface clues on the model such as boney landmarks to trigger projections of the internal anatomy which help them to draw the figure more accurately<br />
    71. 71. tactics<br />creativity<br /><ul><li> develop x-ray vision </li></ul>literally<br />other common examples of projective vision (what we are calling x-ray vision) include rorschach tests, kuleshov effects in film, constellations and, of course, “undressing with the eyes” <br />
    72. 72. tactics<br />creativity<br /><ul><li> develop x-ray vision </li></ul>literally<br />many will argue that x-ray vision is as described here is not literal–that it’s not “real”. it is a point well taken, but real or not x-ray vision is a useful creativity tactic. <br />a final thought for doubters: are your dreams real? the vision that you experience in dreams IS real (in the sense that it really happens & can be verified with eeg and pet scans) even though it only simulates external events & is not caused by them.<br />
    73. 73. summery<br />creativity<br /> mental habits <br /> behaviors<br />techniques<br />strategies <br /> tactics<br />

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