Summary by Iana Avramova, NMCT
Creativity is a buzz-word that we have been hearing every day the past decade. There are many definitions of creativity. The one that resolute the most with us is that creativity is the act of turning new and imaginative ideas into reality. One of its characteristics is the ability to view the world from different point-of-view, while finding hidden patterns and connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena. But most importantly it is about generating solutions.
The Netflix documentary “The Creative brain” introduces to us professionals from across the creative spectrum that unravel the creative process, and encourage all of us to be more creative.
At the very beginning of the movie we are shown that our brains have a predisposition to creativity as we are the only specie on Earth that can consider our options before making a choice. This means that the input of sensory information is not directly related to our output. One great example that is given in the movies is about food. If you give a mouse a piece of cheese it will only eat it. It will not think of using it for anything else. While we, humans can think of many other uses to food. For example, we can use it for decoration, we can use it for a fight (the Spanish tomato fights), we can use an apple as a paperweight or crave pumpkins for lanterns.
The fact that we can disengage our instincts and see things beyond their original purpose is the foundation of creativity. As it is shown in the movie, creativity is all about taking ideas from one place and applying them to another place, maybe in a an utterly different context. This is one of the creativity boosters in the movie:
- Creativity is about taking in a new information and combining it with what we already know. The richer and broader the inputs, the more the brain can play with them. This is how seemingly mutually exclusive ideas when combined can lead to a third entity with aspects of both. So, creativity is about playing with the convention rather than rejecting it.
- Creativity emerges of the interplay of neurons from all around the brain (not only from one of the two hemispheres as we were though in the past). Sights and signs are mixing with memories, thoughts, emotions, new and old. It is all about going outside into the world, using what is around us to generate new concepts, new designs, new perspective.
- Our brain weights only about 1,5 kg and it takes up to 20% of all our energy. In order to optimize the use of energy, the brain always show us first the easiest solution (not necessarily the best one). This property of our brain is called “the path of least resistance”. In order to be creative we need to ignore the easiest solutions and to dive deeper to find innovative solutions.
- The brain is a novelty seeker because what is old and familiar becomes less and less stimulating. It is pushing us to look for the new and unexplored. Creative ideas have to exist in a balance between the familiar and the new. It is all about pushing the boundaries in all directions to see where good enough and new enough is.
- Last but not least, the movie shows that most people successes rise of the ashes of their previous failures. We have to accept failure as we are not our failure. We are more than just on failed act. But if we never fail, we will never succeed in creative solutions.
Long we have been thinking that creativity is anteriority just to some people – mostly the ones that are engaged in arts. However, recent studies from research centers and universities around the World and the movie “The creative brain”, show that creativity is a skill and it can be learned like we learn math, languages, and science. It is all about changing our perception, going outside, and releasing the creative potential that lies in each one of us.