Modelling the creative process: A grounded theory analysis of creativity in the domain of art making
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
It is argued that a comprehensive account of creativity can only be provided if creativity is viewed as the product of the interaction of multiple contributing variables, including the creative individual's cognitive, emotional, motivational, and behavioural processes, and how these intra-personal variables complement the social and cultural context in which the creative person works. Because multivariable perspectives explore creativity as the outcome of the interaction of multiple variables, and in particular the interaction between the individual and the environment, there is a particular emphasis on exploring creative activity as it takes place in its normal production context and on self-initiated work. These directives of the multi-variable perspective are adopted in a grounded theory study of visual artists' creative process while making self-initiated art works in the domain of visual art making. In study one sixteen professional visual artists were interviewed over the course of making an art work, which provided a descriptive data base of artists' working processes during the making of self-initiated art work from inception to completion. A grounded theory method was used to analyse the data and develop a dynamically interactive model that describes the developmental process of making visual art works in a real world context. This model is comprised of four developmental phases of activity associated with the production of art works from idea inception to completion and exhibition. A second study was conducted in order to determine the validity of the model produced from study one. The successful coding of data from study two into the model produced from study one suggests that the model has sufficient scope to accommodate the working processes of a range of artists, including those who did not contribute to the formation of the model. The model is evaluated in terms of its particular strengths and key features. There is a discussion of how the model advances existing models of creativity, of its implications for other domains of creativity, and of the relationship between everyday and eminent varieties of creativity.