Creativity is the ability to use imagination to produce new ideas and unique things. Although artistic creativity is often associated with painters, designers, and graphic artists; creativity can also be incorporated into many aspects of business, sports, human interaction, writing, and everyday life.
Imagination and creation grants us the power to have a thought and actually follow through with making it happen. This implies that all of us have the potential to utilize the experience of life as a blank canvas.
But have you ever wondered why some people seem to be more creative than others? Over the last decade there has been some illuminating research on this topic. As researchers take a closer look at our relationship with creativity, it has been found that creative ability is a natural part of our human makeup and something we all have access to.
Artistic Creativity and the Brain
Within the last couple of decades various studies in the field of neuroscience have been conducted in an attempt to unravel the mystery of creativity and hopefully find out if it can be located in the brain as opposed to someone's natural DNA.
Based on research from such scientists as Susan Greenfield ,we have learned that, surprisingly enough, creativity is not only harnessed in one area of the brain but actually involves the coherent interaction of various systems including cognitive, emotional, and motor responses.
Depending on what is being created, different parts of the brain are responsible for handling different tasks. In simple terms, the brain function during artistic creativity works in an interconnected manner. The structures both in the left and right hemisphere of the brain are recruited during various phases of the creative process.
In the creation process, three large-scale brain networks are at work. They are:
Attention Execution Network – When you are busy concentrating on something challenging, the attention execution system is recruited. This is when you are trying to understand something that seems difficult or new.
Imagination Network – Sometimes your brain may be busy constructing dynamic simulations based on past experiences. The part of the brain responsible for this is the imagination network.
Salience Network – This network is responsible for monitoring both internal consciousness and external events to assess potential problems and possible solutions.
Which Part Is Active During Artistic Creativity?
Creativity can be identified as the manifestation of something through thought and execution — but this can be hard to measure. Creativity in the human brain takes place in the right and left lobes simultaneously.
Right Brain – This side of the brain is associated with expressing emotions and recognizing faces and images. Other qualities of this hemisphere include intuition, creativity, musical capacity and definition of color.
Left Brain – Best associated with critical thinking reasoning, logic, and language abilities.
Previously, researchers established that right brain thinkers are higher in creativity compared to left brain thinkers. They believed that right brain lobe was more activated in the left-handed individuals and everything from artistic creativity, divergent thinking, and quick information processing was attributed to them.
However, modern researchers such as Rita Carter, in her fascinating book ‘Mapping the Mind’, have established that creativity involves the necessary communication of the two lobes of the brain — the left and right hemispheres.
The corpus callosum is the interface that connects both lobes of thebrain. Those individuals with larger corpus callosum have efficient synchronization when it comes to creative activities.
The right cerebral cortex of the human brain is the part that is most responsible for artistic creativity, photographic memories, and musical skills. This is why the right part of the brain is often considered as the center of imagination and creativity. But when it comes to execution and the act of actually creating, the characteristics of the left brain are needed.
Studies have shown that you are more likely to be receptive to your right brain insights when you are in a relaxed state, which is why meditation is often linked to enhanced creative thought. On the other hand, the left brain hemisphere is responsible for mathematical skills, working with words and numbers as well as handling other tasks.
6 Ways to Boost Creativity
Most of us, whether we are aware of it or not, often feel the urge to create something. Even if only for a few seconds, the rush of creative flow is a euphoric high that is accompanied by the sense that anything is possible. But if this part of the mind is not tapped into and used often enough, it becomes weak and is less frequently present.
Below are some techniques that require the activation of the right side of the brain. These activities, if performed often, can help strengthen and influence your right cerebral part of the brain in order to influence some stronger artistic creativity.
Take the time to meditate each day. This technique can help calm the mind and balance the body into a state of release. Meditation techniques have been shown to enhance creative thought. Visualization while in a state of meditation requires the imaginative part of your brain to be accessed, hence flexing your creativity like a muscle.
Play and listen to new types of music. This technique can help stimulate the auditory cortex part of your right brain. Creativity requires stimulation, listening to music that inspires you and raises your energy is a great way to enter what is referred to as 'Alpha Mind', where creative thought can flourish.
Become an expert in your field. This is one of the greatest ways you can develop your creativity. If you have a rich understanding about something that fills you with passion, you can become better in thinking towards innovative techniques to solve various problems.
Never stop learning, develop a set period of time each week devoted to reading, listening to podcasts, keynotes, and taking notes.
Intentionally remain committed to yourself. By fully devoting yourself, you can enhance your creative abilities. Enlist the help of colleagues and set a time frame for executing your plans.
Write down 5 new ideas every day. The point here is not to actually do all of them; it is just the practice of activating the areas of the brain that provides creative insight. After a while your ability to develop new and amazing ideas will come seemingly automatically.
Always practice confidence. Insecurity is the biggest colporate when it comes to killing your artistic creativity. It is critical that you build confidence around your natural ability to create. This often means bypassing your fear and executing small creative ideas even if it does not feel comfortable.
Start small, and choose one thing each day to step out of your comfort zone. Try sparking up a conversation with a complete stranger, or asking for a free doughnut with your coffee.
These are the little things like writing down your thoughts, writing a poem, making a list of new ideas, or even engaging in an intriguing conversation with someone you are attracted to. Commend yourself on your efforts and reward yourself for every creative itch you scratch.
Being creative often times means doing the things that most people would not feel comfortable doing, that is what makes true creative art unique and compelling.
Learn to take risks and explore the other side of your fears. Taking risks can advance your creativity and build your talent into unfathomable levels of greatness.
Developing your creative skills — whether in art, business or presence in the community — can become one of your most valuable attributes and can have a huge impact on your future.
- Where is Fear Located in the Brain?
- The Science and Psychology of Happiness
- Freud's Psychodynamic Theory of Personality Development
Part of the BrainCatalyst Series, Gamma-Burst Meditation is designed to facilitate motivation, spontaneous creative energy and intense focus. Gentle ocean waves roll in and out providing an energizing yet centered entrainment. This can be used as a meditation or while you are working, exercising, or studying.