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Creativity and learning

Artistic edit of a image

Today’s picture was taken in a place I often go and I’ve taken similar images many times. This time, I did something different, I used a filter and edited the picture differently to create art. Learning is about repetition, we keep practising until we have perfected the skill.

We learn to ride a bicycle and drive a car with repetition, we try the same moves over and over again, until we can do it without consciously thinking about it. It hard at first, but if we really want to learn we overcome the difficulties.  It’s the same with acquiring knowledge; learning mathematics is difficult for some people, because they give up right at the start. Other people quite enjoy doing calculations once they have done the initial difficult part.

A child learning to ride a bike or a teenager learning to drive a car, both have motivation. The child wants to join friends who are riding their bikes. The teenager has lots of motivation for wanting to be able to drive a car. Motivation can get us past the difficult part, the part where we have to do new things and just accept the challenges. We prefer to drive on roads that we have travelled before, we prefer to drive a car we’re used to, we prefer people that we feel at ease with. We always want life to be easy.

Some artists draw pictures or maybe paint pictures, the repetition of preparing a canvas and applying the paint makes the task easy. Someone marked a well known painting with a permanent marker not long ago and thought that was art. That wasn’t art, it was vandalism. Art requires creativity.

A true artist uses the skills acquired through hours of painstaking repetition, but then they accept the challenge to do something different, to vary that repetition. The variation may be small or it might be quite Avant garde, but the true artist always does something new and through the acceptance of that challenge is creative and improves their work.

The challenges of doing something new can be overwhelming, especially if we don’t have help, instruction or guidance. Even facing the challenges can be a matter of repetition. If we repeatedly face challenges in our lives those challenges become easier to face. We acquire knowledge and learn skills that help us face challenges more easily. We should however, share our knowledge and skills with others to make it easier for them to learn. That is how civilisation develops, not by competition, but by cooperation and sharing.

What do you think? Are you creative? Please share your thoughts in the comments box. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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