Recent popular literature on creativity has focused on identifying the traits or qualities of creative people that distinguish them from "non-creative people." This literature has explored the personality types of famous artists and has identified their lifelong tendencies for perseverance, individuality, and drive. Other studies have looked at PET scans, or brain imaging pictures, of artists and people engaged in creativity. These pictures of the brain in action have distinguished certain parts of the brain that are used in creativity. Although very interesting in its scope, however, all of this research assumes that either individuals have the capacity for creativity or they don't, that either individuals have the personality type to be creative or they don't.
By contrast, I am arguing that the capacity to be creative is much more fluid and changing and that even prolific artists are not able to be creative all of the time. Creativity is more of a psychological state and process. Most certainly it requires persistence, resilience, and determination on the part of the artist, but these traits are not a static or given ability. The moment-to-moment, project-to-project capacity to be creative emerges when we feel psychologically strong, safe, and understood by others. The more support that you can reach out for, accept, and provide, the more you will be helped along in your creative process.
-Excerpt from STANDING AT WATER'S EDGE: MOVING PAST FEAR, BLOCKS, AND PITFALLS TO DISCOVER THE POWER OF CREATIVE IMMERSION (2008, New World Library)
Causes Anne Paris Supports
Savethechimps.org, Bonobokids.org, Elevate Hope Foundation