Is quiet necessary for creativity?
I was driving along with minor disturbances from my children and grandchildren in the background, and formulated a question, is quiet a necessity for the creative thought process? From my personal experience , I’d immediately answer yes. I’d say that I am pretty outgoing, I enjoy meeting people, and human interactions to a certain degree. On the other hand, when the spark of an idea for a project, a song, or a creative way to complete a task begins to formulate in my mind, stay away. I will snap on you. People may get the impression that I am sitting doing nothing (rare thing), or if I am not speaking I am being anti-social. I am usually engaged it deep thought, mental working or creating or problem solving. I’ve learned over the years that visualization is a powerful tool. ‘If you can dream it, you can achieve it’, saw that on a calendar or some place. What would this world be without ideas born within the mind of millions?
Were they all born within a quiet environment? If not, what of those creative thoughts that arise surround by noise and chaos? Are those creations better? Are they more lively, brighter or more colorful? I thought back to 2009 when I taught a third grade class at a private school. We were working on a Mother’s Day project, making a paper hand out of construction paper holding tissue paper flowers. The students were free to choose the color paper, and design the flowers and write sayings on the hands if they wanted. I made a model so that they could see a finished product. Of course, I had a student who couldn’t do it before I had even passed out the paper. Others needed various levels of assistance. The girls in particular wanted theirs to look just like mine, but I wanted originality and creativity from all. Thinking back, a few students sat staring at their paper or watching others work. Others set to work immediately and whole- heartedly creating a gift from the outline of their own hands. The girls formed a group and worked and helped one another, and though they were trying not to copy one another, I noticed variations of the project of one of the girls who a bit more creative. The boys talked away started and restarted some of their hands. Two boys worked alone quietly, they usually did. The student who “couldn’t do it”, ended up having one of the quiet workers make his (I found this out later).
So which ones came out better? The children who worked in a group or the student who worked alone? I cannot answer that, I was just happy that everyone completed a project to take home. I am wondering, if that one student needed silence to work on a craft project? Did the other boys simply tune out everyone around them. If the girls had a really quiet place to work alone, would they have created a more enhanced design than the one taught? Do all artist or designers need quiet initially, then plunge into ‘noise’ to push their ideas to into a concrete reality?
I don’t know the answers, but I tell you do not interrupt when I am quiet.