KBB Collective | The Designers' Corner

Oct 02 2017

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Understanding the Creative Mind

       “Creativity is more than a career, it’s a way of life!” – Paula Kennedy

Creative personalities are as varied as there are individuals; like the book from my generation, “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus,” which is way too simplified compared to reality. But just like in that book, there are enough commonalities that we can attempt to help those of us driven to understand what makes us tick.

Years ago I discovered this great book on the topic, “A Whole New Mind-Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future,” by Daniel Pink.

First, to understand creativity we have to start with the fundamentals of how our brain works.

The right brain is all about this present moment; it thinks in pictures and learns kinesthetically through movement of our bodies. It processes information in forms of energy streaming simultaneously through all our sensory systems and explodes into an enormous collage of what this present moment feels like, looks like, smells like, tastes like and sounds like.

The left brain equally important! It thinks linearly and methodically and is designed to take that collage of the present moment; the it goes to work to pick out the minute details. It then associates all that with past knowledge and finally projects into the future the possibilities. It’s also the brain chatter in our head, reminding us of the grocery and to-do lists. It’s a calculating intelligence.

Go online to find a right brain/left brain test to see where you fall on the scale. Left brain people can be just as creative; it’s a muscle that can be practiced, and it may come more naturally to some of us.

The second bit of Brain 101 that we must understand is that the two sides are linked and NEED each other to function correctly. They were intended to communicate with each other. The synapses between the two can get disconnected.

o    There’s a reason we can’t find our keys when we are stressed and looking for them, but as soon as we stop looking, miraculously we remember and find them.

o    There’s a reason the 4 a.m. AHA moments happen or we have these brainstorms at the most inopportune time, like when I’m flat on my back at the end of yoga in Savasana!

Stress causes anxiety and a fight or flight reaction, disconnecting and severely limiting the communicating synapses from working. At 4 a.m. you were asleep in a relaxed state!

There are many things that block creativity, and in future posts we’ll explore some more specifics. Likewise, there are MANY things that help us cultivate a creative lifestyle.
Here’s one of my favorite tips. How often do you let your inner child out?

Why is this important?

All these traits support someone who is engaged with the world around them, allowing them to see the subtle connections between seemingly unrelated things.

I’ll leave you with a cute acronym I came up with.

Stay tuned for an ongoing discussion through this blog for more inspiration on how to get your creative mojo ignited!

Paula Kennedy
Ignite Creativity Guru

This entry was posted on Monday, October 2nd, 2017 at 6:27 PM and is filed under Creativity. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  1.  Gloria Graham Sollecito |

    Great post! Designers are the perfect examples of right-left brain interaction. Many of us are artists but what we do can also be very technical and exact. As a K&B designer, I enjoy what I do because it does offer that variety. Looking forward to your next post.