For the artist the creative process is being most fully alive. The process is sacred, irrational and life confirming. The creative process is complicated and illusive because being creative has no feel. It’s said, “it came out of the blue,” or “it just happened.” It has no feel because it comes from the subconscious; it is the result of a process that occurs beneath conscious thought, beneath left-brain thought. It's automatic, something like a reflex. Comedians, for example, understand the zone and they know when they are in it, but they don’t know where it comes from. For the average person, they can’t even imagine how creative some people are. There’s a TV show, Whose Line Is It Anyway, where people are given circumstances and characters and. from these givens, they improvise. Many people, unfamiliar with human creative potential, think the show is scripted; they can’t imagine people being as creative as are these performers.
But creativity is a quite natural behavior. The process has peaks and valleys, and it’s not without pain. The creative process, while most fulfilling, contains moments when artists seem to lose their way, even after a recent success. There's always some doubt as to whether the creative process will be as effective the next time, or be there at all, sometimes feeling as though it may never happen again. Confidence can only come from experience, going through the process innumerable times, knowing that there are parts of the creative experience when there is a feeling of uncertainty, having no apparent direction, but knowing that staying the course will lead to some unique resolution. In many ways it is an act of faith, a kind of channeling, the creativity flowing through the artist rather than initiated by the artist. Art students must be around productive creative people to see how the process happens. From this they can more easily see it happening in themselves.
To learn about the creative process requires knowing creative people. Those who thrive on the creative process know the creative process. That they thrive on the process means that they are in touch with the process; they know the process and are fueled by it. Everyone is creative in various ways, on some level. We make adjustments in our lives all the time that require flexibility. Taking a different route from location A to location B requires creativity. But the highest level of creativity–expressive and artistic creativity–is large, it’s a zone, and it’s not easy to get there. Talent, intelligence, personal characteristics, experience, knowledge and facility with a medium: all are necessary for the magic of the creative process in art to appear. Textbooks on creativity or educators who have “studied” creativity do not explain creativity; rather text on creativity is "monday morning quarterbacking", interesting, important, but after the fact of the creativity. Too often educators believe creativity is thought up. Most teachers don’t understand it and talk about the creative process too easily, as though it is easily accessed.
More to come....