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Old 08-06-2005, 10:07 PM
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Gain Confidence Thru Your Creative Self

Carol, please forgive me for taking so long to post this thank you for your article in Creativity! I hope everyone has had an opportunity to read the article and make comments or try out some of your techniques by now

But if you haven't read Carol's article, you'll find it at.....

Gain Confidence Thru Your Creative Self

and Joining the Conversation will lead you to this thread!

carly
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Old 08-07-2005, 05:36 AM
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Re: Gain Confidence Thru Your Creative Self

Thanks Carly. Great article Carol - plenty of food for thought. Thanks for taking the time to write this. I will have to read through it a couple of times to digest it properly, and then I'll be back to discuss it.
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Old 08-07-2005, 06:31 PM
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Re: Gain Confidence Thru Your Creative Self

Glad some folks find it useful.

P.S. That wasn't my title -- nice title, but (in case anyone is wondering) I wouldn't have said 'thru'... I don't even abbreviate 'doughnut!'

Last edited by FriendCarol : 08-07-2005 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 08-09-2005, 09:07 AM
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Re: Gain Confidence Thru Your Creative Self

Oh Carol; you are still a nice person 'thru and thru". I really enjoyed your article and can see a strong parallel in what each of says about creativity.
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Old 08-09-2005, 11:48 AM
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Re: Gain Confidence Thru Your Creative Self

(I am not nice. Kind, sure; generous, helpfully intentioned, usually polite... just not nice! It's an English thing. ) Glad you enjoyed the article, hope it proves useful.
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Old 08-09-2005, 02:05 PM
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Re: Gain Confidence Thru Your Creative Self

First off, this IS Fruedism. But Friend_Carol approaches it more from the Transactional Analysis (TA) frame. This is awesome because TA is quite available to anyone. This is an established form of recognizing the minds journey through anything. Not just art. Do a Google for Transactional Analysis or go to your library and you can find a wealth of information about it.

TA is a way of saying and understanding things in Fruedism but from a layman’s point of view. For instance. Fruedism divides the human psyche into three categories. The ego, the superego and the id. TA describes these as the parent, the adult and the child.

Friend_Carol describes the EGO "'you' that gets embarrassed sometimes, that worries about the bills as you're driving or walking down the street."

In TA we call this aspect the PARENT. This is the finger shaker in you that keeps you in line.

Friend_Carol goes on to describe, "We can think of this part as being mostly concerned with running our bodies. It's usually doing the driving, managing the walking or the cooking, etc. It operates by habit almost all the time."

This, in TA is called the ADULT. The adult is the computer in you. Can I cross these train tracks without getting hit by that oncoming train? Yes or no?

Finally Friend_Carol describes "Self is like a very young child: It's uncritical. It has no sense of time. It's very easily encouraged or discouraged. It’s continually ready to forget the past and move on. So even if you haven't encouraged Self in awhile, it's right there ready to play, here and now"

This in TA is known as the CHILD. This is the part of you, which encompasses everything with ANY emotion at all. Happiness, sadness, conflict, creativity. EVERYTHING that you feel in your brain. And Friend_Carol hit it righ on the nose.

Friend_Carol goes on to say "Ever wonder about those creative blocks? Normally they occur when ego becomes overly involved in the creative process, thinking itself the creator."

This we call in TA, a contaminated CHILD. This is a situation where the CHILD should be making ALL the decisions but, for some reason, we allow the parent to take part. This, of course, screws up the works. Let's revisit the train tracks. The question was. Can I cross these train tracks without getting hit by that oncoming train? In this situation we should let the ADULT or computer make this decision. But if we say,

Can I cross these train tracks without getting hit by that oncoming train? No, but it would be fun trying. Go ahead give it a try.

Now you have what we refer to as a CONTAMINATED ADULT. In this instance the child should not have participated in that decision.

When you begin to view your thoughts and actions like this the end result is RECODNITION. Once you can recognize which part of our psyche, or combination thereof should be used in each situation it becomes much easier to make these decisions.

For artists, it becomes EASY to aim our CHILD at the situation and only allow the others in when needed and for nothing more. The CHILD does not know which brush flows right for a given situation, or how to set up the easel on a rocky terrain and on and on. Therefore we need to bring the ADULT along as well as the PARENT. "Wear better shoes. don't you realize that you could slip and fall down that cliff?" The trick is to keep them OUT OF THE CREATIVE PROCESS. Neither the PARENT nor the ADULT has any idea how to put your heart on a canvas. They can however trick you into thinking that they do. With the ADULT and the PARENT telling you how you can't do that and you know you have no talent. This is THE TRUTH. Why? Because the PARENT and the ADULT have no talent and they can't do that. They no know better, therefore THEY ARE RIGHT. So, in essence, they're just doing their job. YOU, on the other hand, aren't doing your job when you let them participate in situations where they don't belong.

Friend_Carol goes on to say “Trust yourself.” You might think. How can I trust myself. I believe the better statement would be “TRUST YOUR CHILD” because it knows exactly what to do. And with the correct moderation we can achieve greatness.

I love Friend Carol’s article. Even though she’s been critical to me. That’s why we come here. My point in responding to this post is to make the essence of what Friend_Carol is saying available in a easily attainable and approachable manner.

Friend_Carol is definitely on to something. It’s called TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS and you can have it. Just go get it. It’s will not only make you a better artist, it will make you a better person.
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Old 08-09-2005, 02:37 PM
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Re: Gain Confidence Thru Your Creative Self

Interesting that you identified this system as TA, and as Freudianism. It really isn't. There are a large number of 'systems' of spirituality (and some systems in psychology -- very much a latecomer by comparison!) that divide the person into 3 parts/centers/selves. I've also read the TA books (very popular back in the 60's or 70's, when I was in school). That's not a model I favor.

My own identification of my 'working parts' came out of reflection, basically, when I was still rather young. But I actually refined my model and chose terms later from spirituality: Thomas Merton somewhere discusses anima (Latin), etc.; they're very old terms... When I found his discussion, I said, 'oh this is much closer to what I believe than any other terminology I've found!' So I adopted it, more or less.

I explicitly reject almost all aspects of all psychological models: Adlerism, Skinner's operant conditioning, and also Freudianism (even its modern forms). Actually, I think theories about humans are self-reflexive, and that Freud's was largely responsible for WW I.

Yes, really! Oh, dear, there's this uncontrollable id running around driving all of us, and nothing we can do about it. Might as well give up and start the war, eh? Okay, maybe not quite that simple, but line up songs/novels/art from the late 1800's to 1914, and you can practically WATCH and HEAR the darkness building. In those days, all the 'rulers' read books -- no tv, after all and were certainly very familiar with Freud. So they were all operating under the same misapprehensions about their nature: there's this id. I'm saying there's no id, no inner compulsive drive that cannot be accessed, with enough spiritual work.

Just to make the differences a bit more clear: In the system I'm speaking of, the train-watcher calculator is actually Self (your Child), not ego (your Adult). Also, it's Self who chooses the brush (at least once the artist has basic technical mastery of her or his medium), not ego. As to that Parent, it certainly isn't what I mean by 'animal!' Animal corresponds more closely to the gut center, if that means anything to you; it's reflexes & learned reflexes, it's all body. No finger-shaking at all, since it has no values. It merely takes over the body when danger evokes it. Or goes through habitual routines, unless ego is paying attention. (Self and ego both do have values -- but they're not at all the same! Ego is basically into the usual money/sex/power/fame stuff. Self just wants to play. )

It's not at all surprising that you can see TA in this model, since all the psychological theories of this type (i.e., not depending on neurophysiology in any way) are working with the same basic data about humans that was used as the basis of the older, spirituality-based models. But the models we have all but lost in the Western world, based on spirituality, were far more thoroughly considered, and generally matured over long, long years in monasteries (or what have you). Most of the newer 'psychology' models are very sloppy, by comparison to these very old ones.

Thanks for your comments!
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Old 08-09-2005, 05:52 PM
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Re: Gain Confidence Thru Your Creative Self

if I understand the process described by Carol I've been doing this right from the start (except for getting the techniques down part, people tried to teach me but my child is a rebellious know-it all )I paint with a cousin sometimes .He has a natural talent for mixing and matching colors and his drawing and painting come out almost photo realistic but to him it is like a job, something he has to conquer .My stuff may never win awards or acclaim but I have a heck of a lot more fun doing it . (I think my child may be overdeveloped) Iremember very little from psy class cause I thought it was mostly a lot of bull, kind of like the horoscopes in the news papers, ambiguous claptrap. once again if understand Carol article, the jist of it is let go, have fun and explore kinda like what ms.frizzle says
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Old 08-09-2005, 06:19 PM
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Re: Gain Confidence Thru Your Creative Self

See? It's easy, really. Yup, you got it!
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Old 08-10-2005, 09:38 AM
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Hey Everyone,

I'm new here and this is my first post....I'm really interested in the subject of Creativity. Since I look for ways to discover my (many times) hidden creative self, this article was very informative. A couple years back I discovered a book called "Creativity" by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyl. There is a chapter titled, "Creative Aging", I was very inspired when I read this passage:

Giuseppe Verdi wrote Falstaff when he was 80, and that opera is in many ways one of his best-certainly very different in style from anything ever written before. Benjamin Franklin invented the bifocal lens when he was 78. Frank Lloyd Wright completed the Guggenheim Museum, one of his masterpieces, when he was 91 and Michelangelo was painting the striking frescoes in the Pauline chapel of the Vatican at 89.

Although I'm not close to my 80's yet sometimes with my schedule and life it seems difficult to tap in to my creative juices. I write poetry and love to paint. So being here has inspired me already. I look forward to a new flow of creativity to come!

Katie2
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Old 08-10-2005, 01:49 PM
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Re: Gain Confidence Thru Your Creative Self

That's an interesting article, Carol. It reminds me of a technique I used last year called 'Freewriting' when I was writing a MA dissertation and was struggling to find something derived from my own ideas rather than rehashing the other authors I was reading. I think I could come up with written art ideas, but I'm not sure of how I could get said ideas onto paper or canvas. That is where my block starts - I think my ego demands representational realism while the Self wants something more abstract! But just writing this is giving me ideas!

John
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Old 08-10-2005, 02:25 PM
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Re: Gain Confidence Thru Your Creative Self

Hi, Katie, and welcome to WC! This is quite an inspiring place, really.
As you start to look at other work, and post your own, you're sure to find yourself making time for that creative play... Of course, you will also find reading & posting in the forums can be quite addictive, and will take up time, too!

Hi, John... One reason I have lived with these ideas so long is probably that I've always written from Self. Way back, as far as I can remember, even in junior high school (middle school), when I was assigned a paper, I (ego) would research and make notes on index cards (or whatever scraps of paper I had available). I'd wonder if I was ready to write the paper, and shuffle through the cards. An answer would come to me: no, not ready. (That was what I now call Self answering ego!) At a certain point there would be a little click (not really a sound, hard to describe), or I would somehow know I was ready.

Well, even then I had no idea what I was about to say! I've never been one who could outline such papers or essays, for that reason. (Although I certainly outlined technical documentation in my later career; but that was not creative work. )

Then I would just start writing, which I suppose meant stepping back while Self wrote. After the wonderful development of word processors, ego could get into the act, too: After the writing (or part of it), I (ego) could review it, see an better organization of paragraphs, do a little copy-editing, find a missing/better word, etc. But Self was always in charge of the creative work I did.

I wonder if the fact that most creative writers also tended to be depressed -- at least sometimes (thus, probably suffered through 'bad' childhoods), is related to suppression of ego and consequent early freeing of Self? No other creative types are strongly linked to depression, btw: Creative scientists & others tended to have extremely good childhoods, in fact. But writers basically function by becoming observers, including (especially) observer of self, which seems to imply ego is somewhat suppressed, or at least not very active.

I'm glad you're getting ideas, anyway! Welcome to WC!.
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Old 08-11-2005, 07:23 AM
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Re: Gain Confidence Thru Your Creative Self

Quote:
Originally Posted by FriendCarol
Well, even then I had no idea what I was about to say! I've never been one who could outline such papers or essays, for that reason. (Although I certainly outlined technical documentation in my later career; but that was not creative work. )

Then I would just start writing, which I suppose meant stepping back while Self wrote. After the wonderful development of word processors, ego could get into the act, too: After the writing (or part of it), I (ego) could review it, see an better organization of paragraphs, do a little copy-editing, find a missing/better word, etc. But Self was always in charge of the creative work I did.

I wonder if the fact that most creative writers also tended to be depressed -- at least sometimes (thus, probably suffered through 'bad' childhoods), is related to suppression of ego and consequent early freeing of Self? No other creative types are strongly linked to depression, btw: Creative scientists & others tended to have extremely good childhoods, in fact. But writers basically function by becoming observers, including (especially) observer of self, which seems to imply ego is somewhat suppressed, or at least not very active.

Hi Carol,

I have used this web site for about 3 years now and only made 7 posts. Perhaps it would do me good to start doing some writing again. I find the Art Clubs of which I am a member are very conservative, as indeed are most of the art-buying public in N.Ireland and I want to get away from repetition of the same old boring stuff, even if people buy it.

I always found it impossible to write plans and outlines at the start of a piece of writing - I don't know what I think about anything until I write it down! What you were doing sounds like 'Freewriting' to me. You just sit at a word processor and write about the first thing that comes into your head disregarding its relevance (though since I was doing a philosophy dissertation, I had to focus a little on certain topics). You try to write a certain number of words and do this every day. Then when you have amassed plenty of text, you can be critical, organise it, delete bits - but you also find that you get other ideas from what you have already written.

I also agree with you that there seems to be some correlation between creativity and depression or mental anguish of some kind or another. Perhaps we need that to jolt us into a new way of seeing. I don't know if you know it, but your last paragraph seems very similar to the 'Mindfulness Meditation' techniques I am interested in at the moment. Meditation is about observing the train ego-centred thoughts that continuously run through our consciousness. But you don't supress them, only observe and perhaps label them - they eventually lose their energy as you see their illusory nature and become bored with them.

http://jhtaylor.co.uk

Regards,
John
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Old 08-11-2005, 07:50 AM
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Re: Gain Confidence Thru Your Creative Self

Quote:
Originally Posted by upast
Meditation is about observing the train ego-centred thoughts that continuously run through our consciousness. But you don't supress them, only observe and perhaps label them - they eventually lose their energy as you see their illusory nature and become bored with them.
For me, meditation is more what follows after the boredom! (But I studied meditation within theology/spirituality. ) Yes, you're absolutely right, it's the same process, regardless of label.

The sad thing is that many writers have no compassion for themselves, no understanding of their own natures. I recall a passage by one writer describing a character (a writer) in a novel who was both watching in utter misery as a child died and watching himself watch this, and was disgusted or revolted that he could do this 'objectively.' But we can't help it; writers (like everyone else) are both ego and self -- we are just peculiarly aware of this. We are aware of both at once, to an unusual degree.

Best wishes with your writing and other creative endeavors! I hope things are truly becoming peaceful in Northern Ireland these days, and energies are becoming freed for constructive purposes.
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Old 08-17-2005, 03:44 PM
SHOSHANA50 SHOSHANA50 is offline
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Re: Gain Confidence Thru Your Creative Self

shoshanna here the inspiration is wonderful of letting go of ego and letting the child become, i dont think there is anything to even compare. but my paintings affect people that causes no response or cannot understand why I PAINT THEM. I WENT TO ISRAEL 6 YEARS AGO AND CHANGED MY WAY OF THINKING. EVEN TO ASK FOR WALL SPACE IN GALLERYS THERE IS SUCH NEGATIVE RESPONSE. i HAVE MY PAINTINGS ON TWO SITES FOR THE PAST 6MONTHS.AND ONE RESPONSE ITS SO WONDERFUL AND SO SAD .i paint soldiers american and israeli standind at the waling wall arm and arm .my heart melts every time i see them.I have now started paintings with animals surrealism looking in windows there cute but it is not myheart i do it because i am tired of sharing my heart and know i do what others want. i am becoming discouraged and loosing the joy of my heart. my home is all murals and my walls are full of waterfalls to cities i dont think it is a block. i guess the real me is trying to except that world only wants what it wants .so i guess i stay in my own world.thank you for being ther it made my day

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