Creativity Class: Week 4

reading response

I once composed a song on the piano. Just once, though.

The definition of compose (v.) is to write or create (a work of art). The definition of composed (adj.) is having one’s feelings and expression under control. 

What I find interesting is that when I first played this song, I was motivated by a desperate need to control my feelings.

Life has it’s ups and downs, and when life gets really down, I turn to music. So, one summer when I was about 13 and the house was filled with yells and tears, I sat at the piano to drown out the noise and played a melody that eventually evolved into this:

A note for my instructor: First of all, yes, this is Teddy in the video. Isn’t she a great actress?! Thanks, Teddy. Secondly, my reading response was inspired by the question Piirto asks as the beginning of Chapter 3:

 Does family trauma automatically yield creative genius?

I would never argue that family trauma is necessary for creativity, but I can definitely say that some of my most creative moments were motivated by those times when the atmosphere in our home turned sour. Just an interesting observation..

class reflection

This class reflection is for last Thursday, Feb. 6 as I was sick on Tuesday and couldn’t make it to class.

I loved our discussion about convergent and divergent thinking. I thought the activities and exercises were a lot of fun, and I wanted to keep exploring ways that I could practice divergent thinking in a game-format.

The first game I found online is called What’s in a word?: “You pick out a long word and see how many different smaller words you can find in it. This is a great exercise in seeing how something like a word can be split up and rearranged into many different things.” Time limit: 2 minutes. (credit: Growing Creative Kids)

I used the word GRADUATION (a big word at this point in my life…) and here’s what I came up with: grad, tag, rad, trod, nod, run, ration, grit, noir, tad, rag, tar, no, on, tin, nit, gnat, rat, rut, rot, and got. 21 words.

How many can you come up with in 2 minutes? Comment below!

gunter hans

Another activity I pursued (also suggested by the Growing Creative Kids wafflewebsite) is called In Another’s Shoes: “Anytime you can see a different perspective or view a situation from somebody else’s shoes, it forces you to think Divergently. Open yourself up to different points of view by talking to new people and really listening.”

So, I went to Gunter Hans Artisian Cafe with Teddy, my roommate Danielle and a new friend — also named Danielle — from Austria. We ordered Bretzels, Liege Waffles and cider. Danielle told us all about Austria, and we delved into some pretty serious topics about how America and Austria differ politically and socially. We talked about how the elderly are treated in Austria, why a sense of Nationalism has vanished since WWII, what the dating scene looks like and how Austrians feel about immigration. It was really fascinating and I definitely felt like I was opening myself up to a different point of view.

creative idea


This week, I taught myself how to make a GIF. I think this is the start of a new style of art; blending photography with video. I used a screen shot from an video I shot this fall, when the leaves were in full bloom.


transformative project update

My ballerinas are all very different looking. Sometimes, I go for a more abstract image and other times I draw cartoon dancers. For the days that I missed or skipped, I’m drawing extra ballerinas because I want to have at least 20 drawings by the end of the project.


If you liked this post, check out my other posts about creativity here:


One thought on “Creativity Class: Week 4

  1. Wow. Just wow.
    I also write music (and, like you, started when I was in my teens as a result of a tenuous family environment), but never have any of my songs ended up becoming anything like your video. I am in an autobiographical performance class this semester and was toying with the idea of using my music in one of the performances…after watching your video, I feel inspired to move forward (despite the fact that the thought of it immediately makes my palms get sweaty).
    I am so impressed with the cultural exploration you, Teddy, and your friends engaged in at Gunter Hans. I’ve been several times and have merely enjoyed the craft beers without giving much consideration to the rich cultural and national heritage from which the café comes. And you are absolutely right, you were engaging in divergent thinking!
    I love Edgar Degas’s paintings of the ballet rehearsal hall….I look forward to seeing your drawings!

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