Acknowledging and understanding the creative process is relatively new. In the late nineteenth century Herman Helmholtz, a German physiologist and physicist, discovered that there are three distinct stages of creative development that included Saturation, Incubation, and Illumination. In the early 1960’s, American psychologist Jacob Getzel recognized that an additional stage needed to be added to Helmholtz’ process. He found that creativity isn’t just finding an answer to a problem, but rather, highly creative people tend to also have a heightened sense of perception or awareness, which results in identifying problems that some do not recognize. As a result this heightened sense of “awareness” has been given many different names such as Perception, First Insight, or Identification.
Living the Creative Life has been written as a series of four articles that may be read through as a whole or individually. I have used these articles as a part of my first week’s curriculum to address some of the fear students may have as they begin their art experience. All of my students have told me they deeply appreciated this information as it helped them to realize they truly were creative.