27 March 2017, evening...
Over 150 years ago, Louis Pasteur is reported to have said, "Chance favors the prepared mind." (Or, possibly, "Fortune favors the prepared mind.") This is an important observation for those seeking to be creative.
Numerous myths exist regarding accidental creativity, "eureka" moments, and serendipitous discoveries. The truth is that creative works are almost always the result of deliberate and sustained effort. Those chance discoveries generally occur at the end of a long period of work. And, as Pasteur pointed out, these fortuitous events would not be recognizable if the mind were not prepared to receive them.
The prepared mind, quite simply, is the mind which is educated in the field of endeavor being pursued by the creative individual. Could be formal education. Could be self-taught. Is probably both. And it includes knowledge of what others in the field are doing, what problems need solutions, and what ideas have failed. For many endeavors, the prepared mind is multi-disciplinary. Many of the most innovative works are inter-disciplinary in nature.
In the 21st Century, it is easier than ever to cultivate a prepared mind. The Internet. Various on-line periodicals. On-line libraries. Blogs. With some sources, it may be difficult to authenticate the information. But, there are enough sources available that it does not require much effort to find trustworthy information.
So, search. Read. Study. Perhaps, correspond. Contemplate. Prepare your mind for creativity.
Deborah K Smith, PhD
As a self-proclaimed mixed media artist and creative professional, I am in my 3rd career, having spent 15 years as a software developer and another 15 as a university professor. My first love and my most demanding one has always been creating whether it be a drawing, a bit of crocheted lace, a cloth doll, a piece of software, a PhD dissertation, or a piece of digital art. I simply LOVE to make things and I see make and make-over opportunities everywhere. My only regret is that there is no possible way that I can live long enough to make all of the things I see in my mind.