The Creative Process

Creativity seems to be the buzzword of the decade, a trait valued not just in the arts, but in science, business, therapeutic modalities, and in our most prized self-images. Like the children of fictional Lake Wobegon, we all hope that we possess creativity in levels “greater than average.” But what is creativity?  What is going on in the mind and body when one is producing a creative work or solution? In this course, we will focus primarily on the creative process in the arts, with particular emphasis on those creative endeavors that promote healing or change, in both individuals and communities. Additionally, we will begin to learn the necessary craft of critique and will rely on both ancient philosophers (such as Aristotle) and modern critics (such as Danto) to gain an understanding of why all art is not equally “good,” as we pull apart the cultural constraints on our artistic judgments. To this end, each student will individually explore his or her own creative process through a variety of artistic media (poetry and prose, drawing and painting, music). Additionally, as a class we will work on collaborative creative pieces, exploring what Ingmar Bergman called “the magic lantern” of the synergistic group endeavor. No prior artistic experience required, but a willingness to step outside your comfort zone and explore creative potential in various modalities is important.