Why think like an artist? 9 Benefits of Imagination: Uncanny Creativity 32


I’ve mentioned so many ways that artists can benefit from thinking like an improv comic, putting ourselves in the audience’s shoes, and how to be inspired by others in general. Why would anyone want to think like us? It turns out that it’s a unique gift of human creativity that we practiced so well is putting ourselves in others shoes. Artists imagine being more than what we are in the present. Imagination has huge benefits.

“Looking back, I guess I used to play-act all the time. For one thing, it meant I could live in a more interesting world than the one around me.” Marilyn Monroe

1. Think Healthier

Mental and physical. Amanda Enayati wrote for CNN about innovation, passion, and our health. The studies mentioned in the article find a well established link between mental and physical health. Rather than blaming circumstances and life, artists focus on self-responsibility and believe in their own abilities as tools to do things differently.

2. Connect with community

We don’t create in a vacuum. We create to share. And we create because we’ve seen what others share. Artists have seen art and believe that there’s something there that we could do too. Creating is social, even if we often do our part in solitude. Art is about story telling, sharing our experiences, listening to other people’s experience and viewing them through their eyes.

“It’s that social impact that leads to [the arts] having an economic impact,” Mark J. Stern, a professor in the School of Social Policy & Practice told the Penn Current of his research discussing social impacts of art in communities. “Arts and culture [play] an important role in improving the lives of ordinary people, and we should be able to measure it.”

Related: How to Collaborate More Effectively: Uncanny Creativity Podcast 29

3. Feel Less Fear

We’re less afraid of problems when we are creative. We start to trust our ability to find solutions. We define hurt and failure as “iteration” as we found out in the podcast episode about facing the fear of failure.

4. Save money

As an artist, we can create to fill in the gaps for ourselves rather than buy things. Those of us who work in the arts don’t earn as much. It’s not hard to imagine that those who choose to earn less are less compelled to spend. Creative solutions are often just cheap ones.

5. Freedom

As an artist we have no real rules. Even the rules we have like composition, art, we are free to break and explain away. Or to leave to the viewers imagination. We learned to color outside the lines. We even ask who put the lines there. Artists ask why we would even want to color inside of the lines.

6. Self awareness

Expression is what art is about. To express ourselves we have to explore ourselves, live in our thoughts. Research by the Manchester Business School linked creativity to Idea generation, personality, motivation, and confidence

7. Humility

We face critiques, we face clients, people look at our art and try to improve. Brant Waldeck in a brief blog post explaining why we need to be creative. His three reasons to be thankful for humility? We’ll strive to get better, we’ll be open to suggestions, and we respect ourselves and gain respect via humility. We see how subjective life is. We learn to value our unique point of view. Artists are less threatened by other views.

8. Self control

Think of the repeated actions it takes to be a creative. We might not think of these habits as within our control, some of us see these as necessary drug like passion. We schedule our lives and make purely creativity a priority.

9. Sleuthing

We artists are able of looking through things new points of views. This makes us great problem solvers. We are great at reinterpreting. In a study where students were selected to visit a museum, the students showed stronger critical thinking skills and social tolerance according to the new york times.

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

Uncanny Creativity is an art and design productivity podcast helping you to be more imaginative everyday. Brian E. Young is a magazine art director and artist in Baltimore, Maryland. If you have a design and creativity question I can help answer, send me your letters by e-mail, Facebook or Twitter.

Brian E. Young is a graphic designer and artist in Baltimore, MD.