Friday, November 02, 2007

Artist Types

A paper on measuring creativity by researchers at Arizona State cites Understanding Those Who Create by Jane Piirto in describing different personality traits predominating in different kinds of art. I'd never before seen a distinction made by field.

"Artists tend to be more impulsive and spontaneous than other creative people; writers tend to be more nonconforming than other types; architects tend to be less flexible than others; musicians are more introverted than others; and inventors and creative engineers tend to be more well adjusted on the whole than other types."

Agree? Disagree? Resist the whole notion of predominant types? What do you think?


Debra W said...

You know, Peggy, I'm not quite sure about this one. As I read the quote, I tried to think about individuals who I know that fit into each of these categories, and some of the "typing" just did not ring true.

At first glance, I would have to disagree with the notion of predominant types. I think that I would need to take a look at the study that was done at Arizona State, but my opinion is that this is kind of like Astrology. Sometimes it seems to be astoundingly correct, and then other times, it is just way off.

I am sure that there are some common tendencies amongst different groups of creative people, however, I also believe that what makes someone creative(or able to make use of that creativity that we all have) is the ability to be unique. The ability to set oneself apart from others by expressing ideas in extraordinary ways.

Peggy said...

One thing I worry about in considering uniqueness is the pressure it puts on us unnecessarily.

If we each tell our stories in our own voices, we get better stuff, I think, than by focusing on being different or performing well.

Debra W said...

I agree, Peggy, and I don't think that we should consciously put pressure on ourselves by focusing on trying to be unique. I think that each of us is a unique, extraordinary human being. If we use our own voices to tell our stories, that will naturally bring out the things that are special about us.

I guess that is why I mostly disagree with the study that you wrote about. I dislike seeing generalizations that group individuals into subsets. If you are passionately committed to what you are doing, the flavor of your own voice will be what settles on the top.

Have a great evening!
Debra Whaley

Peggy said...

My sentiments exactly

mohadoha said...

"writers are nonconformists" this may describe why I left two jobs as an academic administrator to be a consultant. I never understood why I didn't fit in the round hole, since I had great organizational and management skills, plus a passion to hlep undergraduate students develop world views. But time after time, I would take a great paying job and then find that I disagree fundamentally with the boss and then have irrconcilable differences. I'm not a great employee. I'm a really bad one in fact. But I'm a great program inventor and implmentor; I'm a great observer of the everyday; I'm a great commentator on culture and personality. I am becoming more comfortable as a creative person and embracing writing as not just a 'side' activity but as one I engage in purposefully and meaningfully.

Peggy said...

Sounds as if you've created exactly the right situation for yourself. Nice work! in both meanings of the phrase.