The Methodical Side of Creativity

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Characteristics of Creativity

Lest we characterize the ideal creative as an eccentric artist with disheveled hair and a penchant for mismatched socks, let us consider the methodical side of creativity.
Leonardo da Vinci, the quintessential artist and inventor, was incredibly logical and scientific in his thinking. He was a keen observer, detailing findings of empirical studies in his notebooks, and working out complex designs of everything from solar energy to helicopters. 
His careful study of light, human behaviour, and anatomy contributed to the genius of his greatest works like the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper.
Without the hours and hours of pouring over monotonous, detailed data, he would not have been able to produce his seemingly effortless creations.
Creative branches often grow from methodical roots.
Image source 


Today’s 4 Minute Writer  

The Look

She holds her head low, gaze fixed on the ground. Something about the way she moves makes me turn her way. For a split second I see a big, black hole in the side of her head. I blink and realize it’s only dark, hanging bangs.

As she passes me, she jerks her head, as if sensing someone watching her. A flash of iridescent green eyes pierce mine and a high-pitched frequency fills my ears. I try to scream, but make no sound.

She looks away and keeps walking, head down. The ringing stops abruptly.

I spin on my heels and run towards her. Without turning, she bolts away. I yell out, “Stop- you with the green eyes! Stop!”

She runs faster, pushing people out of the way. Her heal lodges in a sewer grate, crashing her to the ground. I pounce and grab for her shoulder but catch only her long black bangs. My arm is locked, powerless. Like a steel trap, her bangs retract into her head, pulling me in with them. Everything goes black.

Two iridescent green dots grow from the blackness and hover in front of my face. A hollow voice whispers all around me, “Welcome, inquisitive stranger. You are now one of us- the Catchers of the Curious.”

 Image source

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Filed under Creativity, Writing

12 responses to “The Methodical Side of Creativity

  1. True masters and experts make the difficult seem effortless. Nice post.

    • Thanks Helene.
      Yes, absolutely. I can’t remember now what I was reading the other day, but it made me think that the best communicated ideas are ones that make you realize how simple they are- yet no one found a way to make them make sense before.
      Glad to see a new post on your site.

    • Thanks for this link to Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From video. Good ideas take time. That’s a hard one sometimes– as my Jr High math teacher used to remind us, “Patience is a virtue.” Few of us possesed it then. I wonder how many of us do now, especially in this day and age of ‘instant’.
      I agree with the point the video makes about the internet increasing connectivity to others with ideas in the incubating stage which can provide the missing piece to our own thoughts. The issue now, I think, is, when do you stop?

  2. Very true, we must nurture creativity and work at it. Last year I took a writing class and they said it was important to write everyday as if you just wrote when you felt like it, you would never write anything, which I think is very helpful to remember for all things creative!

    • That’s where we bloggers have the advantage- we have a place to put our writing daily (if we choose to). I do find that on days I don’t post I feel like something is missing. A fine line between self-discipline and addiction 🙂
      PS- Your posts on your recent trip to Denmark are great!

  3. Methodical and ordered is good and healthy. (Somehow the singular verb seems right. Pardon me if it isn’t.)

    Your piece “The Look” is a walk into the Alfred Hitchcock side of storytelling. Well done. Thank you for sharing. Blessings to you…

    • As I write each post, I learn and (re)consider concepts. Methodical and ordered are words I instinctively cringe against. Spontaneous and fun are ones that make me smile on the inside. I do know that there is a very important place for ‘methodical and ordered’, so writing this post helped me remember that.
      I am glad there are people like you who realize the importance of these concepts and keep the world ordered when people like me might throw too much chaos into it!

      • Carol Ann Hoel

        I think methodical and orderly leave room for spontaneous and fun. I lean towad spontaneous and fun. What a dull place the world would be without it. Blessings to you…

        I am in ER with my husband. Taking one moment at a time hoping he will be okay.

      • ER- that sounds serious. Is he ok? I’m praying for you guys, and for him to be healthy and well.

  4. Great post, Zoe. I am a chaotic individual, but highly organised in my areas of obsession.If I didn’t have children I would have long ago turned into one of those folks with odd socks. Families are so healthy- and balance is so crucial 🙂

    • I am wearing bright red socks- and a hat, jacket, and scarf. And I’m indoors. So, while my socks do match each other, I suppose the colour and rest of the outfit make up for that.
      ‘The wise one in the house’ once told me that he can always pick me out in a crowd. Perhaps that was a compliment? 🙂

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