What’s Creativity & Who’s Creative? This is a half-hour TV program (realplayer) and transcript of a discussion on the topic of creativity with such experts as writer Stephen Cannell, professor of psychology Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, pianist and music historian Dr. Robert Freeman, entrepreneur John Kao, and inventor Ray Kurzweil. Here are some excerpts:
Well, I think it’s important to recognize that the popular image of Archimedes jumping out of the bathtub, or of someone with a lightbulb popping up over his head, is just a part of an overall grammar, you might say, or of a series of events that constitutes the creative process. If you look at creativity as moving from the existing to the preferred, there’s a whole lot of preparation prior to that lightbulb and a whole lot of work that needs to follow on after that. And the lightbulb doesn’t appear over the head of only one person, necessarily, although the process clearly can occur between the ears of a creative person–which in some respects, we all are. Creativity also pops up in the space between people, and also within organizations–within society, if you will.
…you can write books in several different ways. Some involve structure and having a plan, and some are about the play and the joy and the discovery. And I think that says something about the creative process, too: it’s not just one way of thinking, it’s multiple. In a sense, intelligence is made up of diverse ways of thinking that come together. There’s the tension in setting up a goal, which may be a part of this process–a picture of the future, with all the uncertainty attached to trying something, failing, experimenting and failing. To be certain of your goal and at the same time uncertain how to achieve it can be very difficult.
It’s “Yes, and” versus “Yes, but”–which is what you get in great jazz, where talented people work together. When you’re playing in a jazz group, if somebody offers you an idea you’ve got to go with it, and add to it. You don’t exercise judgment on the front end or you’ll never get to something truly sweet.
(via Cultural Canaries)