CREATIVITY: From Where does it come?

So, where does great work come from? … As a writer, there are some days when the words flow effort­less­ly, and then moments when not a word makes any sense. It’s clas­sic. It’s some­thing that we all deal with. Many believe that we need the per­fect sit­u­a­tion for our cre­ativ­i­ty to flow. We need to not be dis­rupt­ed or dis­tract­ed or faced with prob­lems for our best work to flow with muse.” ~  Tim Har­ford, TED talk

And so it goes for any cre­ative activ­i­ty. There is no one key trait that defines cre­ativ­i­ty. Many neu­ro­sci­en­tists believe that acti­vat­ing our ‘cre­ative mode’ involves dif­fer­ent inter­act­ing cog­ni­tive process­es, both con­scious and uncon­scious, as well as our emo­tions. Though we still don’t under­stand every­thing that goes on in the brain, there is research to back-up the idea that still­ness plays a role and let­ting your mind wan­der with­out crit­i­cal­ly think­ing. Try­ing not to solve a prob­lem so much as allow­ing our thoughts to just free asso­ciate. 

Morn­ing Med­i­ta­tion, JASON SMITH

When read­ing about cre­ative writ­ers, sci­en­tists, artists, and so on, what they had in com­mon was ‘down time’, the time they just went for walks like Thore­au and Dick­ens, or took cat naps like Edi­son. They blocked out the world around them and went to a stress free place in their mind.

They relied on their accu­mu­lat­ed resources they had in their minds already and took time for the  brain to defrag­ment. The brain rearranges and restores infor­ma­tion that we have already tak­en in so when we need a par­tic­u­lar piece of infor­ma­tion, we will be able to access quick­ly. To do this, the brain needs us to be qui­et to incu­bate all the infor­ma­tion we have received. To do some­thing that is not prob­lem-solv­ing. We need to be relaxed and stress free. 

Increased cre­ative think­ing is a side-effect of calm­ing our inner mind

So, one way to become more cre­ative is to be in the habit of dai­ly med­i­ta­tion. It is a way to break from all the dis­trac­tions and con­stant demands we have in our dai­ly lives. 

You could start your day with a few min­utes of just sit­ting — not think­ing about what the day holds for you, but just try­ing to not think of any­thing. Or you could take a walk, or take a break in the after­noon sit­ting down and count­ing your breaths. One work­shop I was in had us sit down and con­cen­trate first on our toes, then feet, and slow­ing mov­ing up our body, think­ing of how that par­tic­u­lar part of the body felt. It takes you into your­self, let­ting your brain defrag­ment. Stop­ping your brain from try­ing to solve a prob­lem and instead just work on the fil­ing sys­tem in your head. 


Sub­mit­ted by Jude Lobe 



Here’s help in how to buy art. No, it does­n’t need to match the sofa. You may have pur­chased a new home and want to dec­o­rate. Or you have have seen an art­work in a doc­tor’s office or art gallery and it cap­tured your atten­tion. Well good news. ART does not have to match your sofa. It only has to make you hap­py, remind you of good mem­o­ries or keep your interest.

If you are in the mar­ket for art (paint­ings, sculp­tures, one-of-a-kind fur­ni­ture, quilts, etc.), you only have to love it.  Sure, it should look appro­pri­ate in the room. But don’t think of fine art as just decor – because it isn’t, it is Fine Art and it should be expe­ri­enced as such.

    You can peruse art gal­leries, hope­ful­ly local art gal­leries, espe­cial­ly those owned by artists, like Hills­bor­ough Gallery of Arts in North Car­oli­na. If you are moved by a piece of fine art because it makes you hap­py, that is a good rea­son to buy It and take it home with you. That way, you would have the art to lift your spir­its every sin­gle day. Art is functional.

    You can always change lit­tle things in your room to make the art fit your decor. For instance, take col­ors from the art­work and bring in those col­ors with pil­lows, table cov­ers, anoth­er work of art or an accent rug.

    The art­works you choose do not need to match. There are no rules for choos­ing art accept pur­chase the art you love. The com­mon thread will be what they have in com­mon which is THAT YOU LOVE THEM. You don’t have to find the same col­ors, style or even the same time period.


    How to Com­bine Dif­fer­ent Styles

    Think out­side the box in arrang­ing art. For instance, a paint­ing does­n’t have to hang on a wall. It’s very bohemi­an to lean it on a man­tle or against the wall. Throw out the idea that items have to match. Jux­ta­po­si­tion makes things inter­est­ing. Mix round and square sculp­tures or high and low art­works. Find some­thing they have in com­mon to bring dif­fer­ent styles togeth­er. It can be col­or, sub­ject mat­ter or loca­tions. Group art. Hang one large piece, with small­er pieces. Same with sculp­tures. Groups items with same themes or var­i­ous styles or sizes. To group pho­tographs, frame them all with the same style and col­or frame.

    Don’t be afraid to mix styles. That can add excite­ment and ener­gy to the space. If you have a large blank wall, cov­er it with an extra large paint­ing and it becomes a focal point, a show piece.

    And there are times when you should think ‘inside the box.’ Think of your jew­el­ry that you love, but don’t see it very much as it is hid­den in your jew­el­ry box. How about plac­ing it in a shad­ow box and enjoy it every day.

    Jew­el­ry by Ari­an­na Bara


    Orig­i­nal Art vs Prints

    Orig­i­nal art­work is a good way to add some­thing unique and last­ing to your home, but it can be more expen­sive than a print. If the orig­i­nal art is a paint­ing, it will be more lumi­nous than that of a print and the col­or more lus­cious. It may have a com­pli­men­ta­ry tex­ture as well that is part of it’s char­ac­ter that can’t be trans­lat­ed in a print. Three-dimen­sion­al art like sculp­tures may not suf­fer that same dif­fer­ence, but an orig­i­nal will be one-of-a-kind.

    In the end, the best way to buy and dec­o­rate with art is to buy what you love. Oh, and make sure it makes you smile and feel good.


    ~Jude Lobe



    Art is good for the soul, and you have it all around you every day inside and out­side your home. It’s not only a paint­ing or pho­to­graph on a wall, or a sculp­ture in your gar­den. It is the gar­den, the jew­el­ry you wear, the pil­low on your sofa, the table­cloth, the design on your sil­ver­ware.  But art is not just some­thing to look at and admire, rec­og­nized it is func­tion­al, too. It gives you joy in view­ing it, every day it lifts your spir­its, it is good for your health. 

    Sci­en­tif­ic stud­ies sug­gest that art improves health and well-being among indi­vid­u­als. Ben­e­fits of art include improve­ment of mem­o­ry and low­er stress lev­els. Pop­u­la­tions stud­ied found that when per­sons viewed tra­di­tion­al and con­tem­po­rary gal­leries it pro­mot­ed well-being in them and includ­ed a pos­i­tive social impact and cog­ni­tive enhancement. 

    Saman­tha Kaplan believes that “Art is gen­uine­ly a gift to the world. It’s what we crave in the human expe­ri­ence. Art gives mean­ing to our lives and helps us under­stand our world. It is an essen­tial part of our cul­ture because it allows us to have a deep­er under­stand­ing of our emo­tions; it increas­es our self-aware­ness, and also allows us to be open to new ideas and expe­ri­ences. Art there­fore con­tin­ues to open our minds and our hearts and shows us what could be pos­si­ble in our world.”

    Eric Saun­ders, “Tree in Fog No. 4”,photograph

    In clos­ing, our phys­i­ol­o­gy is deeply effect­ed by feel­ings and emo­tion. Try to keep a bal­ance of good feel­ings in close prox­im­i­ty to your­self dur­ing the day. Per­haps a small paint­ing on your desk, or larg­er one on the wall. Maybe a piece of art sculp­ture at home in your win­dow sill to look at before you walk out the door. Or a calm­ing art­work on the wall of your bed­room to send you off to a peace­ful night’s rest. And be aware of the beau­ti­ful fab­rics you choose for a table­cloth, or your cloth­ing, the jew­el­ry you wear or the lamp by your chair. Art is all around us. 

    HGA arti­cle by Jude Lobe



    by Jude Lobe

    This last Fri­day in May, 2019, I will be fea­tured in the show, BE IN TOUCH, with Gar­ry Childs and Pat Mer­ri­man. For this show, I was inspired by the role of Shamans who, for as long as time remem­bers, have worked to nego­ti­ate life-giv­ing har­mo­ny to all things in the envi­ron­ment. Their belief is expressed in the Native Amer­i­can quote, ” We do not inher­it the earth from our ances­tors, we bor­row it from our chil­dren.” As care­tak­ers of this plan­et, it seems to me we have much to learn from nature if we just be qui­et, observe and listen.

    When I am hik­ing along a trail, seat­ed on a deck look­ing out over waves of blue and pur­ple moun­tains, sit­ting with my dog, kayak­ing through marsh­es or just walk­ing in my yard being aston­ished at the array of shades of yel­low daf­fodils bloom­ing in places I did­n’t even plant them, I become present in nature. It’s a calm­ing and stress-reliev­ing feel­ing to be in touch with nature.

    In my art­work, I cre­ate my impres­sions and remem­brances of the feel­ings I had when alone with nature. My land­scape paint­ings, aren’t recre­ations of the scenes, but rather an expres­sion of the emo­tions I had while com­muning with nature. My cop­per sculp­tur­al works are sym­bol­ic rep­re­sen­ta­tions of Native Amer­i­can spir­it guides, par­tic­u­lar­ly heal­ing guides that help with bal­anc­ing our spir­i­tu­al, emo­tion­al and phys­i­cal health. The encaus­tics, nature in theme, play on the theme ‘Be in Touch’, being very textural.

    Look deep into nature and then you will under­stand every­thing bet­ter. – Albert Einstein


    < Left: Top — Sun­scape, cen­ter — the Crow Saith, Bot­tom — Bod­hi Beleaf