Cool Stuff for Mosaic Artists

8 Simple Science-Backed Ways to Be More Creative

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You are creative. Creativity is innate, but not always functioning at the level we want or need it be. As a mosaic artist you routinely practice one of the 8 ways - creating with your hands. Drs. Carrie and Alton Barron say that making something by hand means you are getting information from multiple senses at once, which can stimulate creative thinking. But sometimes that isn't enough. So, here are 7 more simple ways.

1. Look at the color blue. Researchers from the University of British Columbia studied the effects of blue and red and found the color blue stimulates creativity while red stimulates attention to detail. So for a creativity boost, look at something blue.

2. Make some distance between you and the problem. Researchers at Indiana University in Bloomington showed that "psychological distance" can increase creativity. The scientific jargon is "construal level theory (CLT) of psychological distance." Simply put, change the way we think about a problem. One possibility is to think about it from another person's perspective. Another is to mentally put yourself in another distant place like Paris (if that's not where you are). You can also think from a distant future or past time.

3. Write by hand. The Barrons who authored The Creativity Cure, advise us to write things by hand. It can be better than the notepad or drawing app on your smart-phone because it can stimulate creative thinking and collect the information or design you need to process.

4. Do something new and different. Novelty-seeking is associated with well-being. Doing things out of curiosity or for the adventure can stimulate creativity. Habit tends to undermine creative thought.

5. Meditate. In a 2012 study conducted by Lorenza S. Colzato, Ayca Ozturk, and Bernhard Hommel (associated with Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands) Open-Monitoring Meditation increases creativity. The practice of open-monitoring mediation is based on the "awareness of thinking," or becoming aware of your thoughts and feelings as an independent observer of them.

6. Think generically. New research suggests we can increase creativity by thinking about common items in terms of their component parts rather than their uses. We seem to get stuck with rigid thinking that psychologists call "functional fixedness." Tony McCaffrey from the University of Massachusetts has some ways to overcome that. For example the object we call a candle could be thought of as wax and a string (not a wick).

7. Don't get stuck on perfection. It's okay if that mosaic doesn't get shown at SAMA. It is better to complete the best mosaic you can than it is to have an unfinished hope of winning best of show. "Putting pressure on yourself to produce something perfect can actually make it more difficult to create anything at all" Dr. Carrie Barron says. Just try your best and see what happens.


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