Neuroscientists are studying exactly how our brain allows us to be creative – and this is a field that fascinates me! There’s still so much to learn, but one thing that has become clear is that creativity is a process and that it doesn’t originate in only one place in the brain.
Antonio Damasio, a neuroscientist and director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at The University of Southern California, says “there is a very high level of cooperation between different parts, different systems of the brain so that they orchestrate the creative process.”
So what systems are necessary for creativity?
Imagination is one cornerstone, and imagination depends on memory. Imagining something new requires that you play with what you already know. This is why it’s so beneficial that you expose yourself to new learning and new mediums.
Emotions are intimately involved in creativity also. Artists have long been associated with the visual expression of emotion. It’s rewarding and therapeutic to be able to have art as a tool to “work through” some of your emotions, and just the act of creating a work can be calming.
Give yourself time to think and daydream, and exercise your imagination. Turn down the critical, self-censoring part of your brain – you know, the judgemental side of you that is likely to knock down a new idea the second you have it.
Make a piece of art – even if it’s just a doodle!
Cheering you on your creative journey,