This is my professional body so I can vouch for its credibility. That said, this podcast is a very quick skim through the cognitive neuropsychology of creativity so it doesn’t cover anything in detail. The main takeaways though are:
- Experience novelty as much as possible
- Practice – both being creative by problem solving [and questioning things], and technique.
- Step away from whatever you’re working on and take some time out. Doing something mundane like washing up or walking that doesn’t involve too much cognitive effort frees up your brain to work on problems under the surface. We all recognise that tip-of-the-tongue experience where we know we know someone’s name but can’t bring it to mind. Eventually we give up trying and it pops up suddenly while we’re in the shower. That’s the unconscious delivering the goods and it can do the same thing with any creative process from writing to art to mathematical problems to astrophysics.
I would add looking at the piece of work in a different light by putting it on-screen for instance, converting the image to monochrome or brightening the whites and darkening the shadows to see where the tonal boundaries are. For me, anything that creates distance between me and the drawing helps me see it more objectively and if I let my brain stew that for a while, I can often see something I wasn’t able to see before. Whether or not I have the skill to make the changes I want to make is a different matter – which brings us back to practice.
Research Digest PsychCrunch episode 18: How to boost your creativity. September 9th 2019.