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Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
~ Pablo Picasso
from The Art of Creativity
by D. Goleman, P. Kaufman, published March 1, 1992
Our lives can be filled with creative moments, whatever we do, as long as we’re flexible and open to new possibilities—willing to push beyond routine. The everyday expression of creativity often takes the form of trying out a new approach to a familiar dilemma. Yet half the world still thinks of creativity as a mysterious quality that the other half has. A good deal of research suggests, however, that everyone is capable of tapping into his or her creative spirit. We don’t just mean getting better ideas; we’re talking about a kind of general awareness that leads to greater enjoyment of your work and the people in your life: a spirit that can improve collaboration and communication with others.
Many of us do not see ourselves as being creative, because we don’t have much of an audience for what we do. In fact, we focus too much on “Big C” creativity—the glamorous achievements of geniuses—and overlook the ways each of us displays flair and imagination in our own lives.
“We’ve become narrow in the way we think about creativity,” observes Teresa Amabile, a psychologist at Brandeis University. “We tend to think of it as rarefied: artists, musicians, poets. But the cook in her kitchen is showing creativity when she invents a variation on a recipe.”
Howard Gardner, a developmental psychologist at Harvard, believes that what is true about Big C creators holds for the rest of us. “Every person has certain areas in which he or she has a special interest,” he says. “It could be the way they teach a lesson or sell something. After a while they get to be as good as anybody.”
There are others, however, for whom simply being good at something is not enough—they feel a need to be creative. “So what they do,” Gardner explains, “is set small challenges for themselves, like making a meal a little differently from the way they’ve made it until now. This isn’t going to get you into the encyclopedia. You’re not going to change the way cooking will be done in the future. But you’re going beyond the routine and conventional, and it gives you a kind of pleasure that is quite analogous to what the Big C creative individuals get.”
The more you can experience your own originality, the more confidence you get, the greater the probability that you’ll be creative in the future. The idea is to develop the habit of paying attention to your own creativity. Eventually, you will come to place greater trust in it and instinctively turn to it when you are confronted with problems.
The ability to see things in a fresh way is vital to the creative process, and that ability rests on the willingness to question any and all assumptions. This is personified by Paul MacCready, one of America’s most prolific inventors. His best-known accomplishment is the invention of the Gossamer Condor, the first human-powered airplane to fly a mile.
Says MacCready: “To design the Condor, I had to pretend I’d never seen an airplane before. If you have too much knowledge of what didn’t work in the past and what you think can’t work, then you just don’t try as many things. The Condor needed to be light, and the only way I knew I had the absolute minimum weight was if it broke occasionally. If it broke about every 25th flight, that was just right. And that’s the way we designed it. Now, that’s a terrible way to make an ordinary airplane, but it was very good for this particular vehicle. Breaking wasn’t a failure; it was a success.”
In creative problem-solving, a mistake is an experiment to learn from, valuable information about what to try next. People often pack in their efforts because they are afraid of making mistakes, which can be embarrassing, even humiliating. But if you take no chances and make no mistakes, you fail to learn, let alone do anything unusual or innovative.
Research suggests that creative people make more mistakes than their less imaginative peers. They aren’t less proficient—it’s just that they make more attempts than most others. They spin out more ideas, come up with more possibilities, generate more schemes. They win some; they lose some.
While creativity takes hard work, the work goes more smoothly if you take it lightly. Humor greases the wheels of creativity. When you’re joking around, you’re freer to consider any possibility—after all, you’re only kidding. Having fun helps you disarm the inner censor that all too quickly condemns your ideas as ludicrous.
This is why in brainstorming sessions the operative rule is that anything goes and no one is allowed to dismiss an idea as too absurd. People are free to generate as many ideas as they can manage to think of, no matter how wild they seem. In one of those ideas, there is often the seed that can eventually grow into an innovative solution.
Researchers report that when teams of people are working together on a problem, those groups that laugh most readily and most often are more creative and productive than their more dour and decorous counterparts. Joking around makes good sense: Playfulness is itself a creative state.
Read the full article at Psychology Today.
CANCELED Paradise Camp Fundraiser
2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
(WW Community Center, 1275 Highway 2)
This event has been canceled and will be rescheduled for a later date.
CANCELLED Wrightwood Arts Center Membership Meeting
4:00 p.m. (Start)
(WW Arts Center, 6020 Park Drive #5)
The quarterly meeting has been cancelled due to snow and is rescheduled for April 8th. All members are welcome to attend. The guest speakers will be Nancy DeDiemar and Steve Thomas of the Ontario Arts Festival. They’ll talk about their experience in forging a public-private partnership between CCMA and the City of Ontario to provide access to arts and cultural activities within the city, with emphasis on the inaugural 2018 Ontario Festival of the Arts.
Nancy DeDiemar retired after 30 years of owning a small family-based printing business and became an active volunteer with several community organizations, including the Chaffey Community Museum of Art. She currently serves as board chairman of CCMA; is a member of the City of Ontario Arts & Culture Committee; served as chairman of the inaugural 2018 Ontario Festival of the Arts; and is a member of the planning team overseeing management of the arts program at Ontario International Airport. She is also a planning commissioner for the City of Ontario. Her contribution to the arts and culture community comes from applying relevant organizational and management skills from her years as a business owner to the non-profit sector.
Steve Thomas earned a Masters in Fine Arts in photography at Mills College (1989), Thomas was hired as a part-time teacher of photography at Chaffey College, CSU Los Angeles, CSU San Bernardino and UC Extension. Steve also volunteered for the Chaffey Community Art Association and co-founded the non-profit Ontario-based ARTREACH, a program (funded by Ontario Community Development Block Grants, grants from the Montclair Art Association and private donors) providing low-income community residents with introductory classes in visual arts. In 2006, Steve accepted the position of curator of education at the Riverside Art Museum and in 2007 he jumped at the opportunity to become a museum curator at Museum of History and Art, Ontario. Steve retired on December 13, 2014. However, he continues his dedication to the community as an exhibiting artist and independent curator. Additionally, Steve is active board member of the Chaffey Community Museum of Art since 2015. In 2019, Steve was installed on the Board of Directors for Arts Connection, the Arts Council of San Bernardino County.
Children’s Theatre Auditions for Annie Jr.
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
(WW Community Center, 1275 Highway 2)
Do you have an aspiring actor, singer, or dancer at home? The Snowline Players have been working with kids in our community since 1961. They teach kids stage direction and etiquette and help them cultivate their talents. Auditions for Annie Jr will be this Saturday the 19th at the Community Building in Wrightwood at 10:00 a.m. Children must be 5-16 years old. Have them prepare a song to sing at the audition. They can either bring a backing track on a cd or sing something a capella. They might also be asked to read something. The director will put together a rehearsal schedule after talking to all parents and finding a time that works for the majority. Performance dates will be May 9th, 11th, 12th, 18th, and 19th.
Adventure Tour to Cabot’s Pueblo Museum
10:00 a.m. (start)
(67616 Desert View Ave, Desert Hot Springs, CA)
The WAC will be putting together carpools to Cabot’s for this event. Lunch is also tentatively planned at Essence at Two Bunch Palms (not included in cost). Member RSVP deadline: Monday, January 14th (can sign up at meeting). Open to public after January 14. $20 members, $25, non-members. Please RSVP to Lynn at firstname.lastname@example.org with number in party and if you are willing to drive. Visit the Cabot’s website for more information on the museum.
Save the Dates!
The Wrightwood Chamber of Commerce has set up the following dates for their 2019 events, so be sure to put them on your calendars:
APRIL 21: Easter Egg Hunt
JUNE 1: Taste of the Village
JULY 6-7: Mountaineer Days
AUG 17: Classic Car Show
OCT 12: Chili Cook-off and Salsa Making Contests
NOV 29-30: Mountain Holiday Celebration
NOV 30: 17th Annual Parade of Lights
New Classes at the WAC
In addition to all of our other classes through Keyboard Arts, the WAC is please to offer the following new courses. For more information and to register, visit keyboardart.com.
Creative Nonfiction with Melissa Chadburn
Wednesdays, 7:00 p.m. (one hour), 8 weeks
starting Feb. 6thPOSTPONED TO APRIL, ages 16+, $200
In this eight-week course, students will read craft essays and look at the explore the various shapes and forms of personal narrative. The class will help learn different techniques of from hybrid experimental work, the braided narrative, to the fashionable lyric essay. We will discuss overarching issues such as memory and truth as well as techniques such as perspective, transitions, and the use of sensory detail. The first four weeks of the course will be devoted to exploring the various types of nonfiction through generative (homework and in-class) writing exercises. In the second half of the class, students will have the chance to workshop their writing in a serious, respectful, and community oriented environment meant to challenge and inspire each member of the class. Nonfiction 1 is also open to more experienced writers who want to brush up on the basics or try their hand at a new nonfiction form. This class will take place in the Wrightwood Arts Center, where tea, coffee, and sparking water—and the occasional charcuterie—will be served.
Art for Kids with Leslie Sikes
Tuesdays, 3:15 p.m. (one hour), starting Feb. 5th, ages 8-12, $72
Classes will alternate between the topics of Elements of Art, the study of artists, and creativity using various media. During each class, silence and focus will be encouraged during a period of time, teaching children the importance of experiencing the creative process.
Drawing for Teens and Adults with Mary Duman
Thursdays, 4:30 p.m. (one hour), starting Feb. 7th, ages 13 and up, $150 (art supplies additional)
Learn basic drawing skills using pencil, colored pencil, and charcoal. Perfect for beginners and anyone that would like to improve representational drawing skills. All skill levels welcome! Lessons Include: Line Quality, Contour Drawing, Gesture Drawing, Observational Drawing, Sketching Basics, Value, Shading, & Form, Still Life Drawing, Nature Drawing, Space & Perspective, Rendering Texture, Emotions & Animation.
Poem of the Month
by Wendy Videlock
Here’s to the mountain,
here’s to the sky,
here’s to the who
and the what, and the why,
here’s to the leisure,
here’s to the chore,
here’s to the pit,
and the skin, and the core,
here’s to the ancient,
here’s to the now,
here’s to the thumb
and the seed and the plow,
here’s to the fire,
here’s to the shore,
here’s to the star
and the freak, and the bore,
here’s to the addict,
here’s to the saint,
here’s to the song
and the hum of complaint,
here’s to the miner,
here’s to the crone,
here’s to the ruined,
the staid, and the flown,
here’s to the wrist,
here’s to the tongue,
here’s to the rib
and the cage and the bone.