make art. transform life.

thoughts about creativity and  art:   live your life as your work of art.

Boost your creativity with 13 thinking tools

[picapp align="none" wrap="false" link="term=tools&iid=5065648" src="a/6/3/b/Open_toolbox_closeup_3aa9.jpg?adImageId=12838263&imageId=5065648" width="337" height="506" /] Have you ever heard people say that you just can’t learn to be creative, you have to be born that way?

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I have. All of my life as an artist, many people have insisted that “you either have it or you don’t”. I am always trying to see things in a more plastic and flexible way. I know I have continued to improve my creative flexibility by implementing different strategies of thinking.

I take time away by myself to just be, I take a moment to stop and really pay attention to my surroundings, I will investigate a news incident that I am particularly interested in, collect inspiring quotes, bake some cookies, spend 2 hours dedicated to drawing, go to art shows, really stop and listen to the sounds around me, and most importantly, listen to my own inner voice! Reading books by other artists and experts in  education and intellectual development has given me new tactics and reinforced my time tested belief. I believe that we all have the capacity to think creatively and to find the artist inside. One of the most helpful books was written by Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein, who wrote Sparks of Genius. They actually studied the most creative people in the world and then broke the skills down into 13 different categories. IThis book is a comprehensive study of how to hone your creative skills.

I actually teach these to children!  They love stretching their minds and learn to overcome their fear of making a “mistake” so they can risk trying  some new ways of thinking. I share the tools here with you, briefly, and will continue to expand each one in a series of posts on developing your own creative IQ.

Check back early in each week to find out how to truly integrate these tools into your everyday thinking! For now, here are short summaries of thow can help you to become a more creative thinker!

  • Observing is to watch something carefully. It is important to do because you increase your knowledge and awareness . It keeps you safe. You develop your ability to describe, reflect and remember.
  • Imaging is to form a mental image of something that is not present. it is important for you to do because it helps provide meaning to what you experience and greater understanding to what you learn. Your imagination helps you to create something that never existed before!
  • Abstracting is to simplify what you see to a few important lines, shapes or colors, words or symbols. it is important to do because you remove non essential information so you can see what is really important about something.
  • Recognizing patterns is to organize random events around us that we see hear and feel, by grouping them.
  • Making patterns is done by combining an element or operation with another in a consistent way.
  • Making analogies is to discover connections between things that seem very different.
  • Body thinking occurs when you are aware of how you feel and where your bod is in space. Many times your body senses things physically before you intellectually  become aware of it.
  • Feeling empathy means to see the world through others eyes and understand hoe they feel.
  • Thinking in dimensions is to understand that you can see things in 2d or 3d; that you can change the  scale or proportions of things.
  • Modeling is to make things smaller (like a building) or larger (like dna) in order to understand it better.
  • Playing is to do something just for fun. it is important because you can try things out without worrying ; to make your own rules; to change how you usually think.
  • Transforming means to change a concept by looking at it from one form into another.
  • Synthesizing is a way of thinking that combines different ways or understanding, such as using the senses, memories, scientific knowledge together in a unified way. This creates an awareness of the many connections ,helping you to understand i more deeply because you can experience it in so many different ways.

Do you sometimes have trouble accessing your creative side? What do you do to transform the problem into an opportunity to create? I love to get your comments. Dialogue is yet another way of inspiring creativity!

There is a great blog post from Michael Nobbs' blog drawing inspiration in discusses his successful use of setting limits to get more done!  And here is a post that will get you moving in a positive (and creative) direction from Mark McGuinness in his blog, Lateral Action.