The Continuum of Creativity
I often tell my students art is not for the faint of heart. In fact I would say that to truly operate in the world if creative imagery, one must enter the arena of the warrior.
Not the warrior-killer, the warrior who confronts her/his fear, moves through it, and finds joy and power in the process.
Thus I present them the continuum of creativity. The novice level reads like this:
Engages in little or no risk-taking.
Is uncomfortable with ambiguity and complexity, seeks simple, one dimensional answers.
Little evidence of changing first idea. Stays strictly within the limits of the known.
Sees mistakes as personal deficiencies (rather than learning opportunities and a normal practice of creativity) and/or lack of “talent or skill".
Sees product and process in a limited way and removed from self.
Does not actively seek or engage in critical analysis and resists much feedback (“I like it like that.”).
The Exemplary or mastery level reads as follows:
Actively accepts risk-taking and possible failure as an important part of creative activity.
Demonstrates resourcefulness and embraces complexity and ambiguity.
Makes changes when necessary and thoroughly explores the unknown.
Embraces mistakes as learning opportunities and understands the intrinsic motivational value of problem solving.
Embraces ownership of process and product.
Actively seeks, considers, and engages in critical analysis. Asks questions; imagines many possibilities.
Of course, most of us are somewhere between these levels. These levels can be applied to any artistic endeavor, no matter how experienced one may be. Do you, as an artist continually seek new answers and challenge yourself, or do you simply repeat what you already know how to do?
Where do you fall in the continuum? Where do you live in the arena of the warrior?