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bishop_pass

Elements of Creativity

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What are they? Can you put your findger on them? Analogy: The process of being able to take one concept and change it into another concept in a different spectrum while retaining certain analogous elements. Common sense knowledge: Drawing from the mundane and simple, things which we take for granted, and using this knowledge to reason about the consequences of an idea and to provide background details for an idea. Experience: Personal real life experiences provide elements which can be used to build new ideas and concepts. Anybody care to elaborate on the above or enumerate any others? Edited by - bishop_pass on June 27, 2001 12:47:45 AM

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Hi bishop pass. Your email about the large format pictures was very helpful by the way, thank you.

Anyway, creativity:

Inductive reasoning: You see 3 pictures of various mountains, from which you form a generic concept "hypothetical mountain"

Agency: Now you can decide to generate a mountain of your own.

Aesthetic Opinions: You can''t create a mountain unless you can decide what size, shape, color, etc. you want it to be.

I think that''s the basics. But to get art you need predictive psychology (ability to madel what another person will think of your ctreation)

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quote:
Original post by sunandshadow

Hi bishop pass. Your email about the large format pictures was very helpful by the way, thank you.


You are very welcome, sunandshadow.

quote:


I think that''s the basics. But to get art you need predictive psychology (ability to madel what another person will think of your creation)


That is an interesting point. And valid. So creativity involves a conceptual understanding of the creator''s audience.



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Your comment about seeing 3 mountains from which you develop an understanding of what mountains are reminds me of the Platonic concept of ''forms''. The physical objects we interact with on the worldly plane are actual imperfect manifestations of their ideal form. So, when you see a chair it is actually only a representation of what a chair actually is. Sounds a bit silly I know but it''s a rather interesting concept when you think about it.

One vital element to creativity is being able to identify what is universal in all things. In understanding the universal, you can find a language of words, context, objects, and ideas that speaks to an audience. They may not always understand why it is meaningful to them, but you will manage to touch them in some way.

Just my 2 cents.

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Hmm, I thought ideal forms were aristotle''s, but it''s been a long time since thet philosophy class...

Anyway, the important distinction is that ideal forms supposedly really existid in some heavenly space somewhere, where human minds could know about them. I think, on the other hand, that every person has an innate ability to manufacture these ideals, plus some innate biases about which curves and angles and color combinations are attractive, and every person makes their own set of these ideal that other people don''t really have access to, and no two people have exactly the same ideal.

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Well, I believe it was Plato who introduced the concept, but considering Aristotle was his student there''s strong likelihood that they each had some ideas on the matter.

While I don''t disagree (fundamentally) with your last statement, I do think that what is actually of significance is that even though we may not have the same ''ideal'' of a particular object, event, etc., we can still recognize enough of our own ideal in other people''s that these things remain meaningful. Hence the value of calling on ''shared experience'' in storytelling -- being able to draw upon our own experiences (or those experience vicariously through imagination) to find a language of ideas and experience that speaks to other people and draws them into a story. (I know this discussion is on creativity and not storytelling, but it is a forum about writing after all).

R.

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Guest Anonymous Poster


I don''t see much point to intellectual analysis on a non-intellectual activity. I mean, figuring out what environmental conditions are conducive to creativity is one thing, but trying to break creativity down into discrete pieces seems to me like trying to capture sunlight in a shoebox.

So why not spend the effort exercising your creativity instead of talking about it? I offer Scott McCloud''s 24-hour Comics challenge, seen here

Go for it. And there''s an option to do a play if you''re not visually minded.

JSwing

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Whoops. There''s supposed to be a ''puts on flame retardant underwear'' in the top line of the prev post - that''s what I get for not loggin in. D''oh!

JSwing

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I would say originality plays a big part in creativity. Being able to use things in a different way than they were intended is also creative. Could creativity be defined as a change from the norm?

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The problem with your statment JSwing is your assumptions ... you say "why talk about this when you could be doing something instead" ... but this IS doing something ... having fun engaging your brain to think about things you normaly just accept or ignore. And the reason we do it is not really just to find the answers, but to actually enjoy the experience of thinking and discussing ... which is a lot easier for me to do to relex on my 15 minute breaks, than creating a comic.

My father once asked me "What is more important, the questions or the answers" .. to which we both agree that it is the questions. This is one of those forever interesting questions that is fun for the sake of asking ...

"Is the world Analog or Digital?" This one also came from my dad ... and we went round and round when we had the occasion to talk ... for the next few months ... until we finally decidied ... well ... I guess I should let you think first.

Shared Experience is the foundation upon which all other human connections rest ... including language, art, everyhing ... But the only universal forms that it really proves exist are the similar pathways and behaviors of human brains ... and only in the statistical sense ... we don''t each think the same thing .. but through careful testing when we learned the word .. we are close enough to get by. There is a wide range between the thoughts and behaviors of different humans, therefore most of our core language is either extremely vague (love, hard), or very exact and demonstraitable (iron, 6 feet tall). We can all agree that we like sex .. but primarily for 3 reasons: 1 - we are human and evolution has ensured we are built that way (it didn''t ententionally make us that way, but those who like sex breed more - and over millinia the statistical effect is quite considerable) ... 2 - we each mean something subtly different by ''like'' (even from usage to usage) ... 3 - we each think different things are ''sex''.

Last but not least ... why do you consider creativity to be different than intelect? In my experience as a Dungeon Master, Programmer, Writer, Game Player, Reader, Dreamer, Lover, Human, Drinker, Thinker ... I have come to view creativity as a highly intelectual activity ... calling upon very large amounts of intelectual analysis ... much more so than doing math or phisics problems ... think about it ... the author streches him imagination to invision something different .. analyses and modifies it to make it more attractive ... disects it to understand what it makes him .. and will make his readers .. feel ... searches for sections that detract from the experience of reading .. or take away from the "authintic" feel of the characters ... revises and revises ... etc ... and of all of these processes .. the ones that seperates a great writer from a lazy drifter are NOT lack of non-intelectual things .. but lack of the intelectual aspects of imagination, creativity, determination, etc ...

So ... I feel these ideas are related directly to the topic ... I feel that the elements are creativity are the sum total of your intelect ... and their combined application ... deciding to combine human reaction to mathematics (geometric patterns) and the effects of sound upon the brain creates the field of music, etc.

Good Luck

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Saying creativity is not intellectual is one of the most ludicrous statements I''ve read in a long time.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Wait, I don''t want to get into a discussion about terminology. So let me try a different explanation.

Creativity, for me, is a type of synthesis - whether bringing together separate pieces in unusual ways, or just letting the subconsious produce someting ''new'' from the stew of experiences that reside in corners of my brainbox.

But the discussion here is analysis. Let''s take this method of synthesis and decompose it. This is an intellectual exercise (intellectual meaning left brained and logical, not intellectual meaning any use of the brain). Like I said, trying to capture sunlight in a shoebox.

What about revisions? Surely revisions require analysis! But this refining occurs after the creativity has occurred. You''re checking if idea is solid, and maybe focusing on the pieces that aren''t quite right, but that''s not being creative. That''s being critical. And yes, I recognize that being critical is necessary to produce a good product, but that doesn''t make it creative. If we wanted to discuss refining an idea we would focus on what makes a particular work good or bad, not how the work was conceived in the first place.

I honestly don''t see how a general analysis of creative synthesis is useful. What did they say in the other post? "You get to be a better writer by writing" I don''t think you get better by discussing what pencils to use.

These are just my opinions, though. Feel free to disagree or disregard.

JSwing

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JSwing, why are you making the assumption that an analysis of creative synthesis here is for the purpose of getting better at creativity? That was the first mistake you made.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Not exactly my argument. My argument is that analysis of creative synthesis is pointless. Improving creativity is useful. Refining a creative work is useful, as would be discussions about methods of critque.

But I think that analysis of creative synthesis is an exercise in mental .. hang on, gotta think of a polite term... self-indulgence.

and that it''s unworthy of the talent here on the board.

JSwing

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quote:
Could creativity be defined as a change from the norm?


Maybe. But it''s not breaking the social norms, it''s about breaking the inner norms of a person. That is, you are being creative when having an idea that''s new for you, but maybe not for everybody.

Of course, that if you want to seem creative for the rest of the people, you have to try to go further, so that''s more difficult to find an idea that was first thought for anybody.

About the creative task, I''ve heard a lot of people saying that it''s just inspiration, or that ideas just come (including very known writters, and important people), but I don''t agree. Ideas are yours, they appear in your mind when you think on them.

Of course sometimes ideas come from an inesperated asociation, or event, but you can force that task by trying to think something in new terms, or from a new point of view.

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JSwing....that''s a pretty sneaky argument. If we disagree with you, it''s like we''re saying that our choice to have this discussion points to us being less ''talented'' then you suggest.

Personally, I think any discussion of creativity is interesting, as long as it doesn''t rob one of their ability to be creative of course. But I see your point (or at least, what I take to be your point): creativity is a rather abstract concept and one can get bogged down in terminology without ever really scratching the surface of the issue.

R.

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The driving force behind creativity is randomness. The "creative force" that some talk about so reverently is basically just a random number generator. However to be innovative you need more than just randomness. It requires a selector that can weed out the bad from the good.

A good example of how this works is in evolution. Evolution has come up with tons of great innovations to overcome problems. How does evolution work? You have genetic mutation that is the driving random number generator, and you have survival of the fittest as the Selector.

So the elements of creativity are: randomness and a selector to choose between the randomness.

I know people are going to say that's too simple, but really that's all there is.


Edited by - BriG on July 6, 2001 3:34:10 AM

Edited by - BriG on July 6, 2001 3:35:05 AM

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The creative force, as generated by the human brain, may be based on an arcane and irrational system, but it is not random.

Another necessary ingredient for creativity, I think, is the ability to ignore the barrier between what''s real and what''s not real.

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