Artistic Excellence: What Outstanding Artists can Teach us about Being our Creative Best

By Jim Henry.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

While the literature supports the notion that creativity involves a confluence of important factors a clear answer as to how to enhance creativity is difficult to find. The purpose of this study was to explore the degree to which five elements –motivation, uncommon commitment, skill, imagination and courage (M.U.S.I.C.) – show up in the lives of creative people. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six artists who met the criteria for inclusion as outstanding. A thematic analysis using a theory-driven a priori template of codes revealed eight themes including: primacy of passion, skill empowers creativity, imagination is essential and making art involves risks and challenges. Five directives from the themes are explored.

Keywords: Creativity, Imagination, Excellence, Learning, Teaching, Artists

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 3, Issue 5, pp.35-42. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 593.502KB).

Dr. Jim Henry

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

Jim Henry is a lifelong songwriter. He’s also a psychologist and an assistant professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. His passion for all things creative has led to a research agenda that focuses on the world of creativity – exploring, understanding and enhancing this wonderful construct. He continues to write songs and, as well as teaching Educational Psychology and Counseling, has also managed to convince the faculty to let him teach creativity courses. He is currently writing a book on creativity enhancement.


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