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  1. #1
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    Wasp Does Creativity Correspond with Childlike Thinking?

    I remember having art instructors saying you have to think like a child, then I would witness them having narcissistic rages....and worse yet say they practice Buddhism.

    Do you think when artists say in order to be creative you have to think like a child is just a cop out to excuse their own bad behavior?

    Does creativity correspond with child like thinking?
    Last edited by NoSeRider; February 1st, 2012 at 09:30 AM.
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    Great question.

    I think that in general, that saying is meant to keep you focused on the wonderment of the world around you. See the world with child like eyes... as if you are seeing it for the first time. Be curious about it... Children want to immediately touch something they've never seen to understand it and feel it... To make sense of it and how it works.

    This is something that gets lost as one grows up and is faced with the many challenges that life can present.

    Thinking like a child is a good thing. Jesus said that unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
    Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

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    For me it's been stubbornness; like a blade of grass growing through concrete. Adults telling me I couldn't think a certain way or do things a certain way--so I would want to be "creative."


    ...Yeah, I guess that is childlike.

    But at the same time, I have felt more creative in general when I wasn't supposed to be having creative thoughts--like my mind was just rebelling against a set of rules.

    ...Still, that is childlike too.

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    I wouldn't think it would, because then you get stuff like... I dunno... Francisco Goya, and H.R. Giger, and Zdzislaw Beksinski. I would not want to meet the child that thought like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by littlebones View Post
    I wouldn't think it would, because then you get stuff like... I dunno... Francisco Goya, and H.R. Giger, and Zdzislaw Beksinski. I would not want to meet the child that thought like that.
    They might have been much the same. Philippe Druillet claimed that much of his violent feelings were present in early childhood--that he would kill small animals and then cry about them afterwards.

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    No I never bought in to the child like thing for art. I think it has an agenda to it. Its nostalgia for grownups who gave up the core of themselves and want to blame it on physiology.

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    All children are generally creative because they're shaping the very foundation of their world view, hence how I'm guessing 90% of kids probably play pretend or with dolls.

    Your imagining a world, characters in it, this and that, because you don't even have a firm grasp of the world around you. But as you grow older some people continue that usage of their creativity others don't. But just making a stupid link like "kids are creative, so think like a kid to be creative" seems like a ridiculous stretch.


    That and I would never use Lewis Carol as a reference for Psychology, maybe some Philosophy. Asking questions like if everyone's a bit mad and crazy in our own ways, what is normality, blah blah blah

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    I think the phrase is pretty ridiculous. Children are pretty stupid by nature due to the fact that they're still mentally developing, learning and experiencing the world. So to me the phrase implies that it's better to know less, which is a regressive mind-set to have. Knowledge can only expand creativity, not limit it. I can't think of any field that's benifited from thinking like a child, probably because we'd still be living in caves if we did.

    I believe it's the frontal lobe which doesn't develop till as late as 25 (younger in females), which is responsible for planning, organisation etc. So maybe that's where the idea stems from, since creativity is often associated with spontianity and lack of planning.
    Last edited by B u r l; February 1st, 2012 at 04:37 PM.

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    Ok, irrelevant to the topic. Is the guy in the video cross-eyed or are his eyes just shaped weirdly? It's annoying the piss out of me for some reason.

    Back to topic.
    I think in a way it does. Children typically use their imaginations more actively and in a more abstract form. Stereotypicly, adults tend to take everything incredibly seriously. Draining the fun out of things and using little imagination on abstract things.

    My grandmother used to say it's childish to draw things that don't exist. So from her perspective you would certainly have to maintain your childlike way of thinking in order to do this. I've also had teachers who said I was very childlike for drawing. At least I used to think it was our ability to think out something that doesn't really exist to be the most childish thing about it.

    Personally I'd say it all comes to where you draw the line on childlike and just regular imagination. I would personally draw in on the naive idealistic view as being childlike. But then again that is probably a reflection of what my own imagination used to be like in my early childhood. So in my pinion you wouldn't need a childlike imagination in order to be creative.
    I'm often shocked at what people pass as wild, far out, dreams. Ok, so your schedule is a little different.. that's wild and far out now. :/

    Oh, yes I also think our sub-concious creativity comes to life when we dream at night

    I'm not saying that creativity is basically thinking the things that don't exist. You can be creative and paint still life. Its a different type of creativity.
    Hope this makes sense..

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    When I was a very young child, I once picked up a cat by its tail.

    THAT was a VERY BAD idea.

    (My childhood, anyway, involved a fair number of experiences where I got to see my own blood or ended up in the E.R.).

    Nowadays, I would have to get really, really, really drunk to function on that level.

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    Children haven't been around long enough to learn all the rules. So when they sit down to draw, they don't make logical connections. Their thinking isn't linear. That's why you get cyborg dinosaurs or things like Axe Cop. It's similar to divergent thinking.

    Adults know the rules and have been conditioned by their experiences to think a certain way. That interferes with brainstorming and limits potential ideas. But we can change the way we think and come up with ideas. You don't have to be immature to be creative.
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    What is child like thinking? Using violence and temper tantrums as a means to get their ways, or being more likely to be curious and exploring?

    I think creativity actually increases with age, becomes more sophisticated. You have more to work with the older you grow and the more experiences you have. Our experience and knowledge colors our art and gives our minds something to work with. Einstein was wrong when he said creativity is more important than knowledge. It is not.
    I see it like cooking.
    Knowledge and experience are the ingredients you put in the cooking pot.
    Creativity is the cooking pot.
    How big is your cooking pot, and what sort of ingredients do you have?

    Or like painting. Creativity is the brush, but it's knowledge that you paint with. You can have a crappy brush and make all your paintings look like crap, but if you have bad paint, that is bad too.

    I think it's possible for a child to be child like and still be drawn towards dark and violent stuff. I used to kill animals for thrill and draw pretty much the same things Giger drew, albeit on a much less sophisticated level. Now I draw cartoon animals and light hearted stuff. People change..

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    Depends on what you mean by 'childlike'. Is it the ability to just dive in to do something? Is it the ability to come up with ideas and run with them without worry or regard?

    I really don't like the label and what people usually associate with it. It implies that the sort of thinking children usually have is juvenile, a product of an incomplete or immature mind, and is therefore laughable or worthless (or inversely, has much potential).

    Either way, I believe that the main point here is to stop policing your thoughts so much, stop being held back by fears and boundaries and explore what you want, when you want. Once those barriers are gone you'll open up virtually infinite possibilities.

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    My uncle was an artist, and he often said that an artist has to look with the eyes of a child. But with that he had a very specific idea in mind, not general immature thinking or behaviour. He was an impressionist and his art was all about the play of light and colour and shape.

    He said that to children, the entire world is a visually fascinating and beautiful place. They have not become jaded yet. He was right too: watch a child at play and you'll see how fascinated children are by things that strike us as mundane: looking at the world through a green beer bottle while turning it over and over to look at the distortions, making patterns in sand, splashing water on a pond and staring at the ripples in endless fascination. I remember well from my own childhood how I could look at the folds in the sheets on my bed and imagine grand mountains or sand dunes, or how an egg carton, turned over, could turn into a space ship or shuttle craft.

    Thus it seems to me there is much to be said for the notion of "discovering your inner child," but only in this particular sense of rediscovering the visual beauty and fascination of the world around us, and emphatically not in the sense of throwing overboard all learning and technique and indeed even grownup behaviour.
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    If you want to create someting new, your thinking needs to be uninhibited to a degree, so you can see things in a new way. Kids are usually really good at being uninhibited.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamber Parrk View Post
    (My childhood, anyway, involved a fair number of experiences where I got to see my own blood or ended up in the E.R.).
    I can relate, but I can blame phsyiology.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OmenSpirits View Post
    I can relate, but I can blame phsyiology.
    Having a Y chromosome, the testosterone level of male in the 14 to 22 age range, and a Blood Alcohol Level > .15 can lead to many interesting "thoughts!"

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    The real issue here is the definition of creativity. Psychologists would define Mozart's creativity as "genuine creativity", which is creativity "born of intensive study, long reflection, persistence and interest".

    All Nobel Laureates require creativity of some sort, due to a necessity for divergent thinking. On the other hand is convergent thinking, thinking based on logic and artificial systems. Both types of thinking reinforce one and another in order to find new and practical solutions.

    Creativity being "childlike" thinking is a misconception created by parents too pompous about their children.
    Last edited by Vay; February 2nd, 2012 at 02:13 AM.
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    For me it does.

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    yeah it does, but in the positive lights of childish qualities. there are negative lights which you described in those art teachers, holy shiiiii. some people said it, the not being jaded and uninhibitedness.

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    'Childish' is the whining, tantrum, useless thing.

    'Childlike' - kids aren't afraid of failing or looking silly. Embrace that.

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    good job minigoth

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    I agree with blogmatix and D.M on this. Creativity is helped by maintaining a fresh outlook and attitude of wonder, but it takes a lot of shaping, experience and sophistication to really bloom. So if it is "childlike", it is only in a very narrow understanding of the term.

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    "discovering your inner child,"

    NOT to be confused with discovering you're in a child
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    If by "childlike" we mean "without restraints", then yes.

    Unfortunately, it's very hard to have "zero restraints" in your art and yet still maintain perfect behavior and composure outside of your art. I'm pretty sure we call that sort of a person a "psychopath", actually.

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    Unfortunately, it's very hard to have "zero restraints" in your art and yet still maintain perfect behavior and composure outside of your art. I'm pretty sure we call that sort of a person a "psychopath", actually.
    Yet people who believe in perfectionism in others yet don't behave perfectly themselves are narcissistic in their nature....then again narcissism/psychopathy are of the same root.
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    I don't really think you have to think like a child. I think that when you age and learn more things...this can actually help to make your range of creativity grow. You have more information that you can put in your "fantasy" world and obviously you can use this in your advance.

    I do kind of get the feeling sometimes that being capable of coming up with all those "crazy" creatively ideas sometimes get frowned upon by people who are less creative.

    For an example with the people that I work with on school you can talk about the craziest ideas and they love it. But when I share some ideas/artwork with people who are less creative, they sometimes look at me as if I'm crazy or a potential murderer or something (don't worry I'm not!)

    If something like that happens, I often wonder if my way of thinking is so weird. But then I realize all those movies those people watch are also created by creative people who actually came up with all kind of cruel things and I actually never hear them complaining about those Which then makes me wonder if they even realize this when they are watching a movie like that.
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    Also, the teachings of Roland Young, who made the entire class, including myself, eat grass on our first day of art school. He was communicating to us how we are subservient to authority and took us outside of the classroom to this bed of grass. As we were talking, he told us “rip some grass off the ground.” We did. He then told us to “eat it.” No one budged. He then screamed “EAT IT” and all of us shoved the grass blades into our mouths. Roland taught us the necessity of concept……

    http://howdesign.com/article/youngcreatives/

    I can't get over what some people think is art instruction. People are feral phucks.
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    "Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -- John Fitzgerald Kennedy
    "My mind is made up. Don't confuse it with facts." -- Terence McKenna

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