Creativity Mind Map - Practical Creativity
by Silvia Hartmann
A long time ago, I made a "creativity" painting on a wall in my house. As this wall is about to be re-painted, I wanted to make myself a small reminder of the creativity painting which is the computer generated image you can see above.
What I like about the creativity painting is that it makes a number of concepts that are central to how I understand the processes of practical creativity visible.
The most important things about it are as follows.
The movement from a "fancy" to a fully fledged seed "Idea" on the left hand side is a TOTALLY DIFFERENT dimensional occurrence, a structurally different movement than the second part of the great journey of creativity which is from the "real life seed" to the full structure which PRODUCES the outcome - the work of art, the profit at the end.
Where the worst confusion occurs is when people try to go directly across from the fancy to the product - I call that "the path to nowhere" for it leads nowhere:
The real movement in creativity (and if you haven't read how I define "creativity", you might want to do so now) is down and then across into this other dimension altogether.
The "down" movement from "fancy" to "seed idea" is a refinement on one hand, on the other hand it is a progression whereby something that is energetic in nature and in essence is being TRANSLATED into something that will make sense as a practical or hard existence.
For example, we might start out with a fancy of "bringing love to the world". This is a feeling, a state of being, a sense of something we want and desire but as yet it has no physical form.
As we think about coming closer to actual manifestation, we might think about "telling people about love", and then we might consider how we do that, that we might want to sing to them instead, and as it develops further into the practicalities of the original essence, we might come up with the idea of a love song.
In the creativity diagram, that is where now the magic happens - where the seed idea crosses OVER as it turns up in a different dimension altogether and it starts a whole new journey towards becoming manifest, as we sit down and create the love song. We take pen and paper, a guitar perhaps, and we write the love song. As the words, the melody, the chorus and verse takes shape, it is becoming more and more defined in reality; it becomes more and more "manifest".
The complete process along the bottom axis results in the "fruit" - the finished love song.
Which we can now record and put onto CDs and there's our last stage in the creativity process, represented by the "bowl of cherries" with the "For Sale" sign on it.
Of course, you can give the fruits of your creativity away if you want - it's only a metaphor for the creative process, after all :-)
There are a number of things I really like about this diagram. It clearly distinguishes between a fully fledged idea and the nebulous fancy - one you can sell, and the other you can't, even at this early stage.
I *love* the moment of magic. I think that's a place where people get scared or confused; I've heard so many people and their fancies and ideas, but so few are ever made "manifest". As I look at the diagram, I think it might be that the idea isn't refined enough yet, it isn't a real seed yet - when it is completely there, like the DNA blueprint of a person, THEN it "slips across the dimensions" with ease.
This simple creativity diagram also shows us the very important difference between an idea, and any of the developmental stages of the actual "fruits of our labour".
Unless you have something written down, you do NOT yet have a love song AT ALL. The bottom axis has not yet begun and without a beginning, you can't get to the tree, nor its fruit.
I also like that you can see that it isn't the fruit that just keeps growing out of nowhere - fruit comes from A TREE; and our finished love song likewise doesn't manifest out of a vacuum, but instead it comes when someone creates the structures that will give birth to it in the end - the piece of paper, the pen, the guitar, and the hands and minds who guide the whole process towards fruition across time.
And here's the last thing and for me, that's the most important part of the complete process of creativity in action:
Has the essence of the original fancy been retained?
Does the "fruit" accomplish that which the original fancy prescribed?
Are they aligned?
Are they in fact, mirrors of each other across the dimensions?
If they are, we have created a true work of art.
We have succeeded in the art of creativity.
We have something that is cohesive, REAL and at the same time, MULTIDIMENSIONAL - it has depth, it has life, it is manifest - and it will change the world.
Text & Images © S Hartmann 2006. All Rights Reserved.