wk: 2 Creativity- a historical over view

“Creative” (having the quality of creating)

I have always referred to my self as a creative person, it’s who I am, everything I do is creative. But it seems there’s more to the word “creative” than I first thought.

Today we retraced the origins of human creativity, from cave paintings produced under hallucination to the ancient Egyptians using one formula for the representation of a person for 3000 years. we worked our way through the medieval, the dark ages, the Renaissance, the agricultural & industrial eras and continuing till now. The one common message I received from this overview was that what i produce creatively is not unique or a creation of my own at all. One of the historical shifts that really stood out to me was the Ancient Egyptians, they successfully “repeated a single representation of a body for over 3,000 years”. Its been discovered that whenever someone drew a body that they used a formula to make sure it was a precise replica of previous drawings. There was no individual value for people but an emphasis on hierarchy and order, this is how their representation lasted. Interestingly there are some earlier ideas of creativity that still exist today, for example in rhetoricians creativity was admired in terms of how cleverly a speaker swayed an audience. Today people still do the same, they use fancy educated words to seem smarter and gain an advantage over others. We admire Poets, rappers and musicians for their cleaver writing & persuasion.

Techniques of Egyptian Art The head of the character was always drawn in profile, while the body is seen from the front. The legs are turned to the same side as the head, with one foot placed in front of the other. The head is at right angles to the body. the face is to the side, the eye is drawn in full.

To summarize the development of human creation you would say it still continues to develop today, people continually push the boundaries and aim to produce the unseen and original. Our culture is for equality and freedom of speech,  people can freely express themselves and their opinions outwardly. Today what you believe “creativity” is simply implicit to you, it’s not a social theory but an individual one.

Continuing with “Theories” in mind, today’s tutorial class had us learning the many theories of creativity. We each were given a section to read, then we would move to different groups and share what we had read and then they would share back. There was a lot of discussion and debate over which theory was correct and why people were in favor of one thing and strictly against another. This would partially explain why there is so many theories, everyone has a different view with different backgrounds and experienced to influence them.

There are three main theoretical approaches covered in the reading; psychoanalytic, behavioral, and self actualization as well as seven contemporary theories. As you study these theories you can see that each of them do have some validity to them, for example. Sigmund Freud had the least liked of all the theories but his ideas about “regression” relating creative thought to child like thinking is a popular idea still today. The theories i looked into were the “Behaviorism and learning”theories, they were the most valid out of the theories for my mind. I’ve always believed that our creativity isn’t original “There is no such thing as creativity, we have no freedom as all our behavioral is controlled by those who give reinforcements & punishments” (Skinner, 1971). I also found the idea by Staats (1968) on “complex stimulus control” to be highly relative to myself and the processes i use when trying to create something or thinking of an idea. “We begin with the existence of two unrelated stimulus-response (S-R) relationships, each established by previous reinforcement.” So basically our creative ideas are just new combinations of things we’ve seen or thought before. This makes sense to me especially since “Pinterest” is my favorite source for ideas and inspiration on the web.

Pinterest is a visual discovery tool that you can use to find ideas for all your projects and interests

The next classic theory is self actualization, this is based on a person being  “a fully functioning, mentally healthy, forward-growing human being who is using his or her own talents to become what he or she is capable of becoming. A person is basically as creative as they can be due to the factors of self actualization and special talents. Out of the other theories i agree with the investment view & i particularly like the implicit ideas of creativity, “A theory or concept of creativity that exists in one’s mind”. We all have our own idea of what creativity is, in a broad view we may all have a similar idea but due to our different social, cultural experiences we have many different specifics of what creativity is. There is so much more to go over, but i might as well put up the piece if i went through it all. Creativity is the beginning of everything and the individual expression of each person, where it comes from? What exactly it is? ill leave that to the scientists, mean while I’m going to be creative.


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