Creativity…

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Someone posed a question to me in the form of an opinion. He said he felt that creativity wanes as we grow older. His rationale was the brain’s development, the establishment of neural pathways, and that our thinking becomes increasingly framed and structured as we age. This increasing structure occurring as a result of experience and neurobiology, and as a result of socialization. For instance, the very parameters of our language impact our world concept.

I do not argue most of it. I think that creativity does tend to wane. My question is does it have to? And if it doesn’t have to ebb, how do we keep our creativity alive? Can we fight the process and improve our creativity?

His second contention was that most creatives accomplish their best work in their early years. 20s and 30s. This I had to think upon, and as of now I am still undecided. What do you think? I’m curious what you all think of this statement, and would love to hear some statements backed up with examples.

Thanks folks!

Roman



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  1. If you want to stay healthy as you age— live longer you just might want to add a different set of muscles to your workout routine— the CREATIVE ONE”
    ~ Matt Fuchs (The Washington Post)

    Do I cease being creative since I’m well past creativities supposed “20/30 yr old use-by-date” according to data opinion? I don’t believe so, if we, as creative souls continue to foster ourselves and nurture our creative abilities. I try not to be offended with someone’s position or opinion. I do believe we can learn from all view points. This time… I felt challenged to go against this convention of thought.

    o. Maybe this opinion is from someone who may not have reached that mature age or possess a creative slant as yet.
    o. Maybe this particular person simply shared a thought on conjecture alone?
    o. Maybe they were examining a thought avenue through conversation with another. I like that.
    o. Maybe this alleged age group of 20/30 yr olds, once they reach that “waning age”… I wonder would they alter their opinion if they too continued being creative well past that supposed date? I hope so!!
    o. Maybe there is a minuscule degree of truth made through scientific data or allowing creativity to become stagnant.
    o. Maybe in the slowing… it’s not our abilities that stagnant, I feel it more that our creative processes are being refined and perfected. This provides us a better sense of accomplishment.

    Instead of conjecture, maybe we simply forget “age” being a barrier or a defining factor… simply keep our mind (creativity) fueled, encouraged and actively engaged. Learning and developing not only what we already possess inside of ourselves, expanding our skills into what we don’t know, so it continues to enhance our creativeness.

    Examples to further innovate creativity.
    o. TRAVEL – not just physically travelling. Letting… no giving ourselves creative permission to allow our mind to wander and explore at will, outside the conventional square box.
    o. MUSIC | WRITING | READING – exercising our mind’s expansion and capability.
    o. EXERCISE – being in fresh air, outdoors, living, breathing what surrounds us. Be it beautiful or tragically wounded. Pausing, it’s offering is a visual artistry, a written gift to our creative sensitivity and exploration.
    o. MEDITATING – slowing the mind to a snails pace to let creativity flow.
    o. VISUAL ARTISTY – allowing the visual to further ignite passion’s through whatever medium at our fingertips.
    o. Be playful and simply explore.
    o. Turn routine on its head and upside down. Now this one… I have to giggle at myself. I’ve found myself temporarily doing work in a field so out of my comfort zone and ability its ridiculous. Yet… despite the barriers and lack of skill, I found even this work held aspects of my own creative endeavors. Those unexpected hours and musing, viewing from a differing vantage point sparked even more creative flux.
    o. Collaborative feedback – this will always encourage and push us beyond what we even imagine. How cool the results, even if we don’t see them immediately.

    I don’t know how creativities criteria and its resulting data was determined by…Success? Popularity? Field of Creativity? Whether it holds truth or not… I AM my own creative soul and visionary. Age will never be a factor or limitation.

    I wonder…instead of viewing that “waning” as an age-death in creativity… we should be viewing creativity as being more discerning in value and quality, possessing a maturity in our developmental progress as we age.

    I also wonder… should we be placed into circumstances that has us out of our creative zone how do we adapt? I think for most creatives, regardless of age, we shine and step up to those challenges faced by being creative and resourceful and innovative because we choose to continue on that path of awareness in growth and potential.

    CREATIVE SOULS — I’m sure there are plenty more artist’s, poets, authors/writers, composers, filmmakers, choreographers, etc that simply and justifiably defy the “waning age” logic. Some examples:

    Naomi Shihab NYE (69) poet, novelist, songwriter
    Kurt Vonnegut (dec. 84) novelist, satirist with a writing career that spanned over 50 years.
    Andy Steinfeldt (73) singer/songwriter
    Ashley Bryan (98) children’s authors/illustrator
    Anita Archer (74 Oregon) created groundbreaking curriculums
    Beethoven and Goethe — Their later works are considered their best and influential
    Goethe (poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, and critic) — possibly crossing into other areas gave them a diversity in their creativity.

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