ON CREATIVITY: COMPARING THE ARTIST'S EXPERIENCE WITH CONTEMPORARY PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH
Carson, Linda Christine
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My purpose in this paper is to stage a dialogue with creativity researchers about their work—and mine. My interest is practical: I focus on ideas about how creativity works rather than why and I limit my attention to research that is corroborated by my own creative experience. I found that early researchers developed serviceable but general models of creativity by characterizing creative people. While I could identify with their profiles of creators, their results seemed generalized to accommodate as many creative practices as possible. I found that when researchers began to characterize creative processes rather than creative people, their results matched my own experiences more identifiably. Furthermore, researchers who pursued methods for facilitating the creative process arrived at results that compare closely to my own techniques for creative production. I conclude by surveying some current areas of creativity research which promise more complex, individualized models in the future. I demonstrate the merit of Gruber's evolving systems approach by illustrating—with examples from my own recent practice—how the development of one creative product may be inextricably tied to an entire body of work.