Creativity is one of those buzzwords people throw around casually, in resumés and job interviews to first dates—“I’m a creative thinker.” But what does it exactly mean to think creatively?
Scientists attempts to pin it down to a formula (like they always do), but when asked, artists give answers as abstract as their art (which begs the question, what did you expect?). A study conducted by John Kounios and Mark Jung-Beeman is more concrete, revealing that creative thinkers’ brains work differently from those of methodical thinkers’. We could have figured that without a study, but it’s nice to see it written down in scientific jargon. For creative thinkers, several regions of their brain’s right hemisphere remain active even in periods of rest—resulting in passionate, expressive risk-takers, who also happen to be insomniacs.
Everyone wants to be an artist—it’s the hipster/rock-star vibe attached to it. Sadly, not everyone’s born able to wield a paintbrush or play the piano at the age of four. But several experts claim that creativity can be learned. For her new album, Visions, Canadian electro-pop musician Claire Boucher a.k.a. Grimes isolated herself completely as a way to educate her brain. In an interview with The Guardian, she shares, “You have no stimulation, so your subconscious starts filling in the blanks.”
It’s probably worth a try for the next time you hit a mental block with that marketing plan. Your boss will (probably) understand.
Illustration by Danica Condez
Source: Samantha Ramos-Zaragosa for Northern Living, “A Beautiful Mind,” August 2014