The Vine – Issue 7 – Creativity
Curated by John McCallum-Cherry
Welcome to The Vine.
A monthly editorial bringing fresh cultural content from Bloom.
“Creativity takes courage.”
We identify creatives as artists; poets; actors; designers; photographers; musicians; writers; makeup artists. A person whose job involves creativity. But we can all learn and refine the skill of creativity. It is not a one-dimensional skill. Creativity exists in all aspects of society.
In April of this year, astronomers published the first ever-recorded image of a black hole. Using the Event Horizon Telescope, a world-spanning network of telescopes, the concerted efforts of over 200 astronomers, physicists, mathematicians and engineers, a creative process was implemented and achieved. A quick lesson in scientific telescopes – the EHT pulls together signals from eight telescopes around the globe which then must be fed through a computer to produce an image. Enter Katie Bouman, a 29-year-old PhD student at MIT. She was tasked with creating an algorithm which could make sense of the half tonne of telescope data and render it into a visible image. Voila, black hole.
That successful algorithm took six years to create and implement. In those six years, I imagine there were times when processes went wrong. Creativity is a skill, and like any skill, it must be practised.
Creative therapy has also proved to be successful in treating mental health conditions. This could be anything from dance movement therapy, dramatherapy, music therapy to visual art therapy. One of the most powerful creative therapy exercises I have completed was a simple one. In a group bereavement counselling session, we were handed a stack of magazines, scissors, glue and a blank piece of paper. Finding images that reminded us of our lost ones and patching them together proved helpful in the grieving process.
Dr Sheridan Linnell, who runs the Master of Art Therapy course at the University of Western Sydney thinks that “Expression through art can be healing in itself, and it can also be a stepping stone for being able to make sense of yourself and express your story to others.”
If, like me, you hesitate to create because of a perceived lack of skill. I would highlight the process of freewriting that can be applied in any creative art form. Taking a blank piece of paper (or Word Document), a blank canvas, and quietening the inner critical voice is a good start. Writing, painting, sculpting without self-editing. Ignoring all rules of grammar and style and just creating can be a great way to flex your creative muscles.
Why should we practise creativity? Here are five reasons.
Creativity allows you to express yourself.
Creativity can reduce stress and anxiety.
Creativity can give you a sense of purpose.
Creativity improves your ability to focus.
Creativity requires the courage to take risks.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”