What’s the relationship between creativity and artistry? On the one hand, artists have to master the nuts and bolts of technique, and often this doesn’t really feel “creative” in the general sense of the word. They’re not creating anything new in those moments, one could say; they’re just practicing their scales. Part of what an artist does is not blindingly creative.

On the other hand, there are amazingly creative people who don’t consider themselves “artists” in the formal sense of the word. Clearly, being creative and being an artist are different things at different moments.

Here’s something that recently crossed my path in an article at the Harvard Business School Working Knowledge site called What Artists Know About Leadership, by Sharon Daloz Parks. She lists the power and qualities of an artist as: “the ability to work on an edge, in an independent relationship with the medium, with a capacity for creative improvisation.” This seems to put the choreographer and the project manager on pretty even footing as far as process is concerned. So then the question is: how do all of us develop those creative muscles?

by Amy Frazier


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