DEVELOPING CREATIVE THINKING THROUGH ART
We are so used to treating art as something romantic that we actually have lost the initial understanding of the its purpose. Art used to be a very straight forward educational tool. It was destined to help demystify and simplify complicated topics, making them easy to absorb. Also, art was used to underline and focus on ideas that even if we have liked, we may have dismissed when they have not been explicitly or attractively presented.
A very bright example of the educational use of art in Europe that has been communicated through art, is religion – the Christianity. The European Christianity has left an enormous heritage of architecture and paintings, statues not per se because the Church did care so much for beauty, but because it understood its power. The power of beauty to develop in humans’ particular patterns of thought and habits of the heart.
Still, art and creativity are two different concepts. Surely, we call artists creative but there are a lot of creative people who are not engaged in art. Both concepts are are correlated, but one does not imply the other at least, not automatically.
Art is a powerful educational tool, which can amplify the power behind a concept or an idea. Not only that but it can act as a catalyst into empowering our creative capacity. When we are exposed to art environment it helps us engage in abstract and analytical thinking. We become more receptive to out-of-the-box ideas and approaches. Research has shown that creative thinkers are better able to break away from judgments about people and situations. They have a higher degree of independence, self-control, uncertainty tolerance, and better self-discipline in their work environment.
We all would love to have the above skills. How can art boost our creative thinking?
1. Art exposition for observation skills – the society’s need of constant proactivity has diminished our observational skills. Observation is one of the key elements of creativity. When we deal with art, no matter if it is a painting, sculpture, statue, photograph, digital art, music or any other form of art, we can train our observational skillset. In seconds each of us can conclude if we like or not certain art piece. It is almost like a gut feeling, a generalization. But when we approach art with devotion and specific questions we can discover which detail makes us feel what we feel. It will broaden our horizons and understanding. Learning to observe the details can help us look on people and situations from a new perspective, a different point-of-view. With a taste for detail, it is much more probable to spot a prospective life or business opportunity.
2. Abstract thinking – creativity in its core is about problem solving. Problem solving is often about abstract thinking. And exposure to art is what it takes to develop it. Abstract thinking is developed by learning to see things through a filter or a lens that is authentic and completely ours. By observing and analyzing art, we learn that there is no one way for doing things. Nothing is just right or wrong. This realization can facilitate us into looking for different approaches to daily challenges. Knowing there are many ways to create something, including coming up with solutions, makes us more self-confident to try and less afraid to fail.
3. Colors as a catalyst – colors can improve our complex thinking and associative skills. Learning about the variety of colors and nuances in nature allows our brain to accept that there is a great variety of everything in nature. It does not come dawn to a few major colors, races, religions, languages, or culture. Everything has a palette of nuances. Becoming aware of that trains our brain to be less judgmental. Accepting the differences makes feel less pressure and at ease. Also, analyzing the colors we like, the colors we prefer, and those we avoid and dislike, can provide an in-depth understanding of ourselves and others.
All forms of art are powerful tools in the process of empowering people into being more creative, self-secure and eager to embrace experimentation. Through art, we learn the fundamental process of discovering, problem solving, thinking and creating. It is also an unforgettable tool to teach and train values, virtues, ideas, and concepts. A great approach towards creativity and self-development.