What is creativity and how can I develop/practice it?
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Thread: What is creativity and how can I develop/practice it?

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    Question What is creativity and how can I develop/practice it?

    I was analyzing my drawings and I started questioning whether my work involved any creativity at all. I realized I'm purely a technical artist and I'm just copying what I look at.

    I think creativity is feeling something, going with the flow, and doing stuff off the top of your head. Like in respect to figure drawing, I think creativity is finding that hidden line of action and accenting it. Or looking at a curve of the body and simplifying it while maintaining its essence.

    Is it possible to learn that stuff? Because I can't do it! How exactly do you learn to look at something, like say a normal, non-athletic leg with subtle curves and some awkward lines, and convert that in your head and onto paper into something efficiently beautiful?

    How do you learn to draw from your head and go with the flow? Or how can I practice it?

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    I think maybe you have been spending too much time trying to get a 100% replica of still life that it's just become a picture of an apple. Something that's typically boring.

    You can try this to start out, but you can ignore it if you don't like it. Take a regular old apple and set it up the way you want it. Now draw it. Then make it blue. That'd just be something I'd do to set it out of the norm. Then I suppose work from there. Don't just change colors, try making it more unique with lines with different widths.

    I typically draw from my head, in fact too much. Maybe we should swap brains for a bit.

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    You go to an isolated crossroad at midnight, holding the implements of your art, and wait for the Devil to appear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daeyeth View Post
    I was analyzing my drawings and I started questioning whether my work involved any creativity at all. I realized I'm purely a technical artist and I'm just copying what I look at.

    I think creativity is feeling something, going with the flow, and doing stuff off the top of your head. Like in respect to figure drawing, I think creativity is finding that hidden line of action and accenting it. Or looking at a curve of the body and simplifying it while maintaining its essence.

    Is it possible to learn that stuff? Because I can't do it! How exactly do you learn to look at something, like say a normal, non-athletic leg with subtle curves and some awkward lines, and convert that in your head and onto paper into something efficiently beautiful?

    How do you learn to draw from your head and go with the flow? Or how can I practice it?
    Creativity is something you have, not something you learn. In my case I can step into a world completely out of this one and see creatures and characters and environments and stories. Then there is the draw part. That is where technical skill comes in. I can visualize all these things but they're pretty much useless if I don't have the technical skills to show them to others. Creativity and technical skills are two seperate things but come hand in hand. You need one to be successful with the other.

    Maybe someone knows a secret to studying creativity and learning how to think in creative ways. But I sure don't

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elisabet Y.A. View Post
    Creativity is something you have, not something you learn.
    What you said makes sense. But then, there should be some exercises out there that help bring out that creativity within you right? I guess that's what I'm looking for. That exercise/project/style that helps channel/focus your creative energies and get you used to using them.

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    Creativity is the dreaming side of the brain.

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    The exercise is to draw without looking at a ref. Keep doing that and you'll get better.

    "I've got ham, but I'm not a hamster"

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    Quote Originally Posted by tobbA View Post
    The exercise is to draw without looking at a ref. Keep doing that and you'll get better.
    This. Worked so far for me .

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    You might consider reading about J.Krishnamurti's thoughts on creativity.

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    I think Creativity is the way your brain possesses things you know, so like the more you know the subject the more you can interpret it in your own way, so for like practice type things, maybe taking different objects and trying to put them together in your own way? say like take a car and a shark and try to impose the felling of a shark into the car, this way your kind of making the decisions of what you think should and shouldn't be included to give it the feel of a shark but still have the functions of a car.

    so it's kind of like inventing things, always asking yourself "what if" and if you think it's cool draw it! heh

    at least this is my opinion

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    Man, "what is creativity", there's a question that'll probably get you thousands of different answers...

    How do you exercise it? I'm not sure. By exercising your mind?

    * Try drawing straight from your head, with nothing in front of you - think of something as vividly as you can, see if you can draw from that thought.

    * Try drawing people and things that are moving - go out and sketch some dancers or a parade or people walking down the street - you'll HAVE to fill things in from your head, because what's in front of you only lasts a split second.

    * Try drawing in completely unfamiliar styles and media - maybe pick a famous artist whose style is totally unlike yours, and see if you can draw your own original picture in that style, or see if you can draw from life in that style. Then pick another style.

    * Try picking random subjects or items, combining them in random ways, and seeing if you can wrest an idea for an image out of them.

    * Try playing with automatism - sit down with a piece of paper and nothing in front of you and no plan and let your pencil wander, drawing whatever pops into your head with every changing second, letting random lines suggest new things and drawing those...

    * And daydream. Take time now and then to let your mind wander anywhere, with no plan or purpose, just let it loose and see what comes up... (Er, I don't know if you can actually learn to do this. My brain seems to do it naturally.)

    I don't know. I've always felt the best results are achieved by spending part of your time drawing from imagination, and part of your time drawing from life, to balance things out.

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    Creativity is achieved when your enjoying yourself.

    Find your fav+ artist and movies etc, analyse them and see what you like about them.
    Then, go and draw, put what you like into your own work.

    You gotta keep the inspiration flowing and the more you draw the more it flows

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    Build up your visual library.

    Build up a shape library, remember how you looked at clouds and thought you saw things in them? Do the same with any illustration program.

    Alchemy is helpful with that along with any art program with brushes.

    http://al.chemy.org/download/

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    The more you know the more creative you can be.

    Being creative is just putting a new twist on something that exists or combining elements of things that wouldn't' normally go together, or an interesting solution to a common problem.

    I think creativity can be grown and be developed just like any other skill, so just start trying to be creative and learn from you mistakes.

    oh and the "Creativity is something you have, not something you learn." is total bullshit. We are all creative.

    Last edited by Zazerzs; March 4th, 2010 at 01:30 PM.
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    Be careful. If you tell yourself too early in life that you are not creative you will doom yourself to that path. How long have you been drawing? Give it some time. Read a lot, look a lot, draw a lot, and see what others do whom you believe are creative. I, in no way, believe that drawing form life will hinder your creativity. Quite the opposite. But daydreaming about those things you see and draw around you will help put them in different perspectives and juxtapositions. Don't just look at the artists you like now but look at people from the past. Bosch was one of those who was a direct link to creativity for me as was Rackham, etc.. Don't worry so much and just keep getting better. Light bulbs will go on.

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    "Creativity" and "creative" come from the word create. The word basically answers your question.
    Just create and enjoy it.

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    edit: sorry, doublepost

    Last edited by Maidith; March 7th, 2010 at 05:25 AM.
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    When talking of creativity it's easy to get drawn into a world of spiritual asshattery, where be-smocked artists caper through dreamy glades, bursting with god-given inspiration, clasping paint-engrained hands to their busoms and sighing like angels at the effortless transcendence of their vision. That's a load of balls. Creativity might well come easier to some than to others but the basic truth is it can be learned, the same as any other skill can be learned. Often what people see as the evidence of a "creative mind" has been attained through the application of careful thought and logic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Elisabet Y.A. View Post
    Creativity is something you have, not something you learn.
    I disagree with this. This is the flipside of the "talent" discussions that usually go on here. Some things come more naturally to some people than others, but that doesn't mean they can't be taught. Hell, I even took an elective called "Creativity" at school! Basic brainstorming and idea generation techniques are part of the training for many fields, not just art. Here's a place to start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creativity_techniques (not a particularly great article, even by wiki standards, but the see alsos and external links are useful, and should provide plenty of google fodder.)

    Last edited by Elwell; March 4th, 2010 at 10:08 PM.

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    Your brain is a dumpster. You need to make a back scratcher. You reach into the dumpster and pull out a large piece of cardboard and some black banana peels. You roll up the cardboard and stick the black banana peels out one end of the roll and then you use this contraption to scratch your back.

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    Some real creative answers in here.


    Creativity makes up for what you don't know too... Try it, it's pretty realiable.. and you don't need to prove anything scientifically either. It might not fly just yet but it's getting there... Leonardo developed what later would become the hellicopter the "Screw-Air Mark I" but he didn't know anything about science, he was brave enough to trust his creativity.

    Last edited by George Abraham; March 5th, 2010 at 03:04 AM.
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    I read a few words a couple of days ago that might be applicable.
    Roughly translated: Change is nothing more than light from a different angle on the same object.

    You start with knowing one way to handle things and over time you learn more ways to handle them. Over time once you see a new object you can see in your head how various ways would cause different effects on the object. And you pick the best for that moment.

    I think creativity is very much related to experience with doing the same kind of things in many different ways.

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    I agree with Elwell and the Baron.

    My advice is study aesthetics and design, there is good hard data that you can learn about these subjects that will improve your work.What amatuers call creativity in professional work is usually thoughtful aplication of these two principles to whatever discipline you choose.

    Two books are great for this

    Composition
    Arthur Wesley Dow
    dover books

    The Art of color and design
    Maitland E. Graves
    McGraw-Hill

    Also study art deco and art nouveau which were concerned with unity and aesthetics in design across all forms of art

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    The secret to my creativity? A steady diet of head trauma with a healthy dose of whores and illicit substances.

    Amateur Artist. Professional Asshole.

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    Creativity is the genius switch. Scientists supposedly say that it is something that has to be nurtured very young or you will struggle with it later on in life. And it is too late once you go past your 20's!!! I'm doomed!!!!

    What I learned to cheat creativity is to use good design choices, hehehehe <insert evil laughter>

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    Here's a little exercise. Read a book, preferably something fantasy to deviate from common conceptions. As you read it, notice how you envision the characters or the environment looking like. Take mental note of that.
    The more visualisation like that you do, the more you shift your brain into a creative mode. Eventually you can visualise pretty much anything you want.

    However creativity is a limited thing. Most of what you imagine will be based on what you know/seen before.

    Taste is the ability to use your creativity and mix and match it in a way that is appealing to many without you knowing/caring what appeals to them. Taste, is quite harder to aquire..

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    Osho has written a good book about creativity, he is an indian philosohper. It won't problabally bring an revolution, but it's still quite intersting/inspiring and useful, or atleast I think so. For me creativity is a process, where you just go with the flow, you aren't thinking or worrying about how it will turn out or if you make any mistakes, or if it will be accepted by the audience, overthinking may be bad for creativity. I think that the left side of the brain then will just start to analyze, what most of the creative people do, and how most of the works you consider creative look like, and you'll just end up copying someone's elses ideas/style.. Basically it's just, have fun, be yourself, don't think too much, draw what you like, and you'll end up being creative.. (ofcourse a lot of studie process in between all that fun would be good, to keep up with the technical side)..We're all limited by the rules, set by other people/society, that makes us to react the same way, become free of those rules and regulations = become a child again. We are all super creative when we are little, until other people come and teach us what and how we should draw/act/ do everything and that pretty much rapes our creativity, we all have it.. we just have to find it again. Maybe similar crap i just said has been mentioned before, haven't read this thread to the fullest.

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    I think Creativity is being made much to mystic and all kinds of creative things are said about how hard it is when it's "running wild". It' like that creative block concept, the scurge or the seven dimentions.

    It's a real common process, I would not have been able to type this message without it.

    If you had no creativity you'd be a veggie staring at a wall. Its the part of the mind that flow's, where the senses is the part that provides anchor, the mind flips between the two constantly in order for the mind to is what it are.

    You wouldn't be able to read this and "experience" the scene:

    .....As Patterson and I scwabbled on through the thicket trying to shake the fiendish creepers, running on fueled by our fear leaving behind us as much vegetation as needed...


    Now, did you see images in your head, did you start to set a scene and imagine some stage, time of day, characters'... How could they have been dressed? I did not mention all those so your mind possily has to go grab some information from your creative side.

    ps. Sweet dreams..

    Last edited by George Abraham; March 8th, 2010 at 06:31 AM.
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    What I do to kinda "force" myself to be creative is to put the pen on the paper, make a mark and go from there, adding more and more random figures and forms on the page until I feel like I have some sort of interesting composition. I do this without ever correcting or going twice over my lines, not worrying about technicall stuff like anatomy and preferably while listening to music to keep me unfocused (the less I think about what I'm doing the more creative the end result usually is).

    At the end it will look like a bad piece of pop art illustration with cartoony figures doing non-sensical stuff, but at least it will be totally different from my usual stuff and provide me with a new source of ideas.

    Short version: I doodle

    Also, Keys to Drawing with Imagination by Bert Dodson is all about this subject.

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    Maidith said it best. If you want to be creative, then you need to create something. Anything. Just do it.

    My own mind is on rails and I am usually stuck in my own familiar routines, which is doing the same stuff over and over. Something I find very useful is to get together with other artists to critique and brainstorm each other's work. If you can't get anything useful out of your own head, then get into someone else's. A random, off the cuff comment by someone can trigger a whole different direction to your thinking. They haven't done your thinking for you, they have just kick started your own creative process. People have come back to me months later with a finished piece they have done and have acknowledged some comment of mine as the starting point to their work. My response is usually, "huh?".

    Another thing I find useful is to read art books. I buy them on a random basis at second hand book stores, or any place I can get them at a discount price. Art books, being what they are, are not hard to find at discount prices! I simply go through them looking for presentations / compositions / techniques that I can modify and blend into my own work.

    I am not a particularly creative person, so I try to be open to visual or aural stimuli that changes the direction of my thought.

    But mostly, just create stuff. Every now and then a nugget will drop out. "Even a blind pig will find the occasional truffle"

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