Creative Minds

Self-discipline is the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses. It is the ability to get yourself going regardless of your emotional state.

Have you ever made passionate goals and plans about what you want to achieve in your art career? And then disorder and procrastination set in? Procrastination can be overcome, and the way to do it is to build your self-discipline slowly and deliberately over time.

Say for instance you want to paint eight hours per day. Start off with one hour per day, every day for a week. That gives you a week’s worth of practicing self-discipline. Next week, move the notch up with another thirty minutes or an hour, and paint for an hour and a half or two hours per day for a week. If you keep it up for three weeks, you will have formed a new habit of exercising self-discipline.

Keep on increasing your painting time bit by bit every week, and after a few months you will have achieved your goal of painting eight hours per


To innovate means to introduce new methods, ideas or products. An innovative person is original in his/her thinking, a discoverer and experimenter.

An innovative creative person is one that experiments with new ways of combining concepts and applying and combining materials. Being innovative will result in growth and new interesting, original works.

As an artist you must not compare yourself with others while innovating but with yourself. Experimenting with new methods and ideas is in the first place measured against what is new for yourself, and only after that should you compare yourself with other artists, if at all.

Do you need to experiment more with new ideas and methods, possible new applications of art materials and concepts?

To change means to adapt, adjust, improve, modify, refine, transform, accommodate, diversify or rearrange.

It is in the human nature to resist change, but if you want to grow as an artist you need to learn to embrace change, otherwise you won’t be able to develop and improve your art talent and you will stagnate.

As an artist, you need to be able to adapt to changing conditions like market demand and changes in the economy. For instance, you might need to diversify your output to accommodate these changes. You must be able to change your work habits and perspective when your personal circumstances change.

The improvement and refinement of your talent is crucial to your growth as an artist. If you are comfortable with change you will find it easier to develop your artistic abilities.

Are you comfortable with change – in life in general, and in your art career?

To expand means to broaden, develop and increase.

So what to expand? If you increase your knowledge about yourself your work will become more authentic and personal.

Most creatives do best in their art if their knowledge covers a large, wide area. A wide scope of knowledge allows the artist to make many different connections in the practising of his/her art.

Developing your practical knowledge about your art form – materials, principles and techniques, and the varieties of application of your materials – will allow you the freedom to better express yourself in your art.

Broadening your knowledge of the creativity process will allow you to make original and unique connections between the different elements of your art. Knowledge of creativity will also help you to weather the ups and downs of being an artist eg. how to survive and overcome artist’s block.

Knowledge gleaned from biographies and autobiographies of other artists will increase your understanding of the process and struggles they went through in their art careers. Weaponed with this information you’ll have more sympathy and understanding for your own path in your art career and life.

Equipping yourself with the above knowledge as much as you can, you are less likely to become blocked because you should always be able to think of something different to try out, be it a new technique or perhaps a change in perspective on your art work.

Do you need to expand your knowledge in any of the above areas?

The combinationof knowledge and creativity goes hand in hand with richness in people’s lives. Knowledge and creativity are inseperable and interrelated. Knowledge is developed by creativity and creativity is enhanced by knowledge.

“The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.”

Adolf Berle

Truly successful creatives are always willing to learn more. They have a lifelong enthusiasm for learning and studying. They are on a never-ending quest for knowledge. They continuously ask “What if?” and if they don’t know the answer, they won’t leave a stone unturned untill they find out.

The more you expose yourself to knowledge and new ideas, the more information you have at your disposal with which to invent new, original connections.

When you find your well of creativity has temporarily dried up, expose yourself to new information: attend a class on an unknown topic, do research on the internet or read books, surround yourself with inspiring things like flowers, paintings, quotes and music. Keep a pen and paper handy everywhere you go and write down any small piece of information or fraction of an idea, no matter how stupid or irrelevant it may seem at the time. Eventually you will start making connections between bits and pieces of knowledge and ideas.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have a thirst for knowledge?
  • Should I be more studious regarding creativity and my chosen field of creative activity?
  • Do I manage my quest for knowledge?
  • Am I doing sufficient knowledge management to optimize my creativity?

Invention can be defined as the intuitive process to discover and formulate something which has not existed before. Inventiveness is the quality of having or showing creative ability or the capacity for original thought.
The invention of an artist is the creation of a new work of art which have not existed before. Invention happens when a totally new and original creation is produced eg. the design and painting of an abstract painting reflecting the artist’s emotions. When an artist copies an original painting, no invention takes place because the artist did not discover or formulate any new concept which has not existed before. Invention is an intuitive, right-brain process where leaps of insight are often made without evidence to support it, based on gut feeling, in contrast with the left-brain where decisions and opinions are based strictly on supporting evidence.
By developing and applying the different qualities of the creative mind, the artist can steadily increase his/her inventiveness. What can you do today to stimulate your  inventiveness? And what could be your long-term strategy to optimise your capacity for invention?

Express means “to push outside”. To express yourself means to articulate your emotions and opinions in vocal, visual or musical terms. Even if you make a copy of someone else’s creation, you still unwittingly express yourself by your choice of subject.

Expressionism is the style in which an artist attempts to meaningfully express concepts from the inner world of emotion rather than external reality. The more concepts you can express, the more expressive you are.

Creativity enhances expressiveness so the more time you spend educating yourself about creativity and pursuing creative activities, the better your ability to express yourself will become.

Think about the following statement: When you express yourself, you influence reality. Do you agree or disagree?

July 2018
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