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Development Of Creativity – By Letting Go

blindfolded participant at Reckless Painting workshop

A recent tweet/re-tweet led me to a very complicated article about creativity. Luckily, a bit of sleuthing led to something a bit more ...um, accessible; Development of creativity.

I’ve always had a great interest in “creativity” and how it can sometimes be out of grasp for the average person who might still be battling shame or embarrassing memories from grade school. These are the people who I've met taking a Reckless Painting workshop. So, I read on….

According to this article, there are four categories of creativity:

  1. creative process,

  2. creative product,

  3. creative person and

  4. creative environment.

Maybe, for the purposes of Reckless Painting, I will add another category:

5. letting go.

For the majority of my 'students', Reckless Painting sessions aim to free-up a creative environment so that shy but under-encouraged creative persons might find a creative process unburdened from the creative product that starts to form in their mind.


Taking it step by step;

  • creative environment: Anyone who says to a friend or a partner, “see ya later, I’m heading out to a Reckless Painting workshop” is on their way to a creative environment. Even before they arrive, that person has scheduled themselves into a day of painting. They have allocated a slice of their valued time to be in a place where …well, most participants arrive without a very clear sense of what they’ve allocated time for! And that letting go, is a wonderful part of the creative environment which we build from.

  • creative persons: At any session, I arrive without really knowing who will show up. Or why.... Of course, each participant is there because they would like to see more creativity within themselves, or else to re-allocate some time for creativity that has slowly been scheduled out of their life, work, play and relationships. i.e. They have a desire to alter their day-to-day routine.

  • creative process: Each Reckless Painting exercise aims to suspend expectation so that participants are gently diverted from trying to anticipate what comes next. (The times we paint blindfolded are a good representation of; letting go of the process.)

  • creative product: There are a few signals to a newcomer that Reckless Painting is NOT about creative products that will end up framed on living room walls ...starting from the sight of large panels of flattened cardboard boxes salvaged from a nearby grocery store. Soon after, with long sheets of paper stretched across tables for participants to work across an edge-less space, it's pretty clear that painting can be a shared process, with a shared result so letting go of the product isn’t really a shock.


Letting go of the process and the product. Maybe not when it's what you are being hired to do. But, for so many people who have shyed away from the arts because they've held onto this message that they haven't been good enough, maybe letting go is a very necessary component within the development of creativity.

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