What drives creativity? Is it innate talent, a need to do something productive, or a desire to work with one's hands? Maybe it's all of these things and more. Why do I craft, whether it's creating jewelry, scrapbooks, or some other myriad crafty enterprise? The other day I was at a graduation reception for my students (8th graders) and one of the parents commented positively on my necklace, to which I responded with "Oh, thank you, it's one of my creations." To which she reacted with "Wow! I didn't think science teachers would do that sort of thing!" (She meant it in a nice way... LOL) Is it that surprising that a scientist, science teacher, or someone else steeped in logic and rationalism all day partake in such "right-brained" a activity like art? (Of course, research has shown that right-brain, left-brain compartmentalization has no basis in structure or function.) Certainly there's precedent. Look at Leonardo da Vinci- he was an artist and a scientist- equally impressive as both. But there are many examples of scientists who are artists, people who have day jobs in the scientific field- teachers, researchers, medical professionals, etc. Why is it that so many people put art and science in separate camps? Is it because you can't do both since they are incompatible? Bunko. Hogwash. Inane drivel.
Perhaps my need to create has a lot to do with the fact that I am scientifically, rationally oriented. I need to step away from the concrete sequentialness of my workday and dive into creative looser brain pathways at night. Do I approach my art the same way I plan a lesson or design an experiment? No, many times I plunge right in- no plan other than a loose thought in my head, no schematic, no setting up all my materials in a row, no writing out steps. I like it like that. Yes, there are times when I am working on a piece that is more complicated or that requires materials I do not want to ruin by freewheeling it, but many times I just let the ideas flow in a zen-like way. The time at my jewelry bench is my meditative practice.