Psychology of Art and Creativity

Art and creativity. What’s common between these two words is how subjective they are in our world. What’s art for one may appear to be trash for another. What’s creative for one may appear bland for another. Yet, these two elements are as ubiquitous as the air around us.

For centuries, people have tried to approach these topics from scientific and rational perspectives- it goes way back to Plato and Aristotle who created “aesthetics”, the branch of philosophy that seeks to understand the nature of art. We don’t know how much closer we are to understanding these tricky subjects in their entirety, but we’ve definitely made some progress. Let’s take a closer look at this.

Creativity and Art

Some people would say that creativity’s coming up with something completely new. A quick Google search would provide you with the definition that creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas to create something. Psychologists, however, have observed and classified creativity more precisely.

There are two major components that make up creativity:

i. Originality: The solution or idea needs to be something that’s fresh. It can’t be an extension of something that exists already.

ii. Functionality: The solution has to be functional – it has to be useful.

Art would be anything that’s an application of creativity. It may be Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” for some, while some might think of the company “Tesla”. But both of them, in their own ways, are masterpieces that have made a huge difference in the world.

Types of Creativity

These components, to a certain degree, can be spotted easily in our day-to-day lives. Researchers thus created classifications of creativity:

i. Mini-c creativity: This is when a person gets ideas and solutions that are known only to them and that are useful only for them.

ii. Little-c creativity: This is the sort of creativity that you might notice every day- it helps people fix the daily issues they come across.

iii. Pro-C creativity: This is seen in experts and professionals who are skilled for specific jobs. These people are creative at the work they do, but their creativity doesn’t create ripples across the world.

iv. Big-C creativity: This is the type of creativity that you would attribute to people like Albert Einstein or Salvador Dali. Their ideas and works have a massive impact on the world and often lead to fame.

How to Improve Your Creativity?

Researchers are yet to discover a method through which a person can go from being in the “small c” category to being in the “big C” category. However, given below are a few tips to enhance creativity:

i. In-depth knowledge: it’s believed that one of the best ways to improve creativity is through gaining more knowledge about the field in which you strive to be creative. Knowing more about the field widens your perspective and can give you better ideas.

ii. Non-specialized knowledge: Having some knowledge in other fields can help you mix and match ideas from one field to another. This is known to improve creativity as well.

iii. Daydreaming: According to one psychology essay, daydreaming can enhance creativity by relaxing the mind and it should be encouraged in children.

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