Creativity and Wellbeing

Way back in November I attended an afternoon of discussion in Nottingham facilitated by my old funders Ignite!. Everyone there shared an interest in exploring the links between creativity and wellbeing, although our backgrounds were quite different; arts professionals, students, scientists, designers and people with an interest in social media. I meant to blog about this after the discussion since there was loads of ground covered which I found relevant to the role of the researcher.

I’m pleased to say that Rick Hall has kindly summarized points from our discussion at Play’s The Thing. Some points that stick with me are the links between creative thinking and genius/madness, thoughts on working alone and resilience.

I increasingly view academic research as a highly creative endeavor in its own right – especially so in literary studies where conclusions are based on an understanding of the process of creativity involved in the production. And, criticism is not just a response to art, but a way of creating a discourse from these works. ‘Studying’ at all levels is not (and should not) be about repeating or reporting but understanding and engaging with – and there is a parallel between ‘getting’ it and the feeling of ‘creating’ it in the first place.

And, like academia, our discussion didn’t give any ultimate answer on the links between creativity and well-being. It just opened up lots more questions and proved that the area is more complex than we might ever have imagined. This is a perfectly good conclusion for this stage.

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