Teaching and Learning the Creative Process Through the Use of New Media and Technology (for the make-up artist)

The following blog is an excerpt from my study (2015)  “Teaching and Learning the Creative Process Through the Use of New Media and Technology (for the make-up artist)

The creative process for Make-up-artists is an integral part of their creative practice. Therefore, innovative pedagogical approaches should be adopted to nurture creativity and the creative process within this field of study. Media and technology can play a significant role in facilitating the teaching of creativity if used in partnership with traditional teaching methods. This study supports current research into the field of creativity and the creative process whilst drawing attention to how social and cultural influences guide the learning and teaching of creativity. To show this, this study takes a
closer look at the teaching in make-up-artistry. This brings to light that ethics must be incorporated into the learning and teaching of the creative process…

The creative process plays a significant role within a creative practice as it enables and empowers the exploration of ideas to enhance and evolve creativity, expands knowledge and refines technical skills and abilities (Sawyer 2012). It forms the very foundations of any art created in the world of fashion, film and photography. Given that a make-up-artist can work in and across each of the afore mentioned creative domains, the creative process they undertake to create a special effects makeup, fashion make-up or execute a piece of body art, is no different in respect to this.

Csikszentmihalyi (2013) examines the psychology of creativity by first asking the question “where is creativity” rather than “what is creativity”. He claims that creativity plays an essential role in forming meaning to our lives for two main reasons; creativity is what makes us human and, whilst immersed in a creative activity, we feel more content and satisfied with life, giving a “profound sense of being part of an entity greater than ourselves” (Csikszentmihalyi 2013,p.2). He terms this as being in the flow whilst imparting the importance of nurturing creativity, as our future is intrinsically linked to
“human creativity” (Csikszentmihalyi 2013; Redecker et al. 2011). Sawyer (2006, p.27) argues that creativity is shaped by “social, cultural and historical factors” while
Kaufman and Sternberg (2006), Thomas and Chan (2013) and Csikszentmihalyi (2013) contend that creativity is not solely the product of an individual, but relies on the relationship between the domain, the individual and specialists within the domain. This said, Sawyer (2012) also discusses the individualist approach as well as sociocultural approaches and considers the most recent research cognitive neuroscience has to offer.

Sawyer’s aim to convey creativity through the use of modern science is a common thread throughout his work, (Sawyer 2006; 2012). Additionally, research carried out by personality psychologists during the 1950s and 1970s allowed them to distinguish between Big-C creativity and Small-C creativity. The latter applies to everyday creativity we all have that is necessary to carry out our daily tasks, while Big-C creativity relates to those who have made a significant impact within their field or culture, (Simonton 2012; Sawyer 2006; Csikszentmihalyi 2013).

Whilst researchers have different theories on the creative process most of them agree that it has four basic stages: preparation, incubation, insight and verification (Sawyer 2006). Petty (2009) describes the creative process as ICEDIP (inspiration, clarification, distillation, incubation, perspiration and evaluation). Although there is a slight variation in terminology and number of stages used by Sawyer (2006) and Petty (2009) both agree that due to the recurring nature of the creative process each stage will be experienced on numerous occasions and not in any specific order. Expanding on his theories through individualistic approaches Sawyer (2012) provides an in-depth discussion on the creative process, whilst demonstrating how his eight stages of the creative process relate to other models such as Mumford’s group (Scott et al. 2004 cited in Sawyer 2012, p.89).

The creative process can be challenging. Carabine (2013) provides a candid, first-hand account of her fears surrounding the creative process – which Beghetto and Kaufman (2010) refer to as “uncomfortable” – and how she has developed her creative practice through deep self-reflection.

Education can play a key role in supporting learners to explore the creative process, as they are afforded a safe place within an educational context, supported by their lecturers or teacher (Carabine 2013). What makes an individual creative and how creativity can be nurtured are intriguing issues, given that creativity is the “interaction between a person’s thoughts and a sociocultural context” (Csikszentmihalyi 2013, p. 23). Furthermore, learning from what others have done previously is critical and is an integral part of learning to become proficient in a particular domain (Sawyer 2006).

You can read the full report here