Creative Connections in Art



How many people think about “creative connections” when it comes to artwork? If you ask the average person on the street if art is creative, most will say, “Yes.” Some will think the two are synonymous. Personally, I would argue that artwork may or may not be creative; however, artistic works (not just something termed art) are always creative and make use of creative connections.


Types of Artwork


To better understand this thought, let’s look at various types of artwork.




If an artist sets out to reproduce another artist’s work exactly, they can show great craftsmanship and talent, but very little creativity will show. If you see creativity in the piece, then the artist has failed at their objective.



Some people consider crafts completely separate from art, but for the purposes of this discussion I will include them.   Crafts where you follow instructions are very much like making a reproduction. The difference is that not as much care is usually taken to exactly reproduce the item. However, other crafts are open to creativity. For instance, a craft where kids (or adults) create a snow globe may be very creative. The entire design other than the concept of a globe is left to the crafter. This is where a craft becomes an art and where creative connections can come into play.


Connections can be as simple.  Perhaps you want to add to create in scene in your snow globe. Suddenly, you remember that you saw a small plastic tree in the toy box. You run, get the tree, and add it to your creation.


Connections, however, can be quite creative. One example would be is the crafter decided to change  the liquid in the globe to oil so that the “snow” will be suspended in it. Another possibility would be to use hairspray to create a sticky surface so some of the snow would stick to the surface without using glue, which might show on the project.


Paper Arts


I call the paper artwork that I do paper arts because I am always creating new designs and techniques. Putting two very different stamp sets together to make a card or scrapbook page can be a creative connection. Other examples are using a part of a tall plant to create grass, adding color to emulate leaves to change a winter tree into a summer tree, and wetting paper so that it curls and can be formed into flowers. The creative connections can come in the form of materials used, design, using materials in ways that they were never intended, and even the basic inspiration.

Paintings And More


When creating paintings, drawings, & sculptures, creative connections can come in terms of techniques, subject matter, and interpretation. The more different an art piece is from the basic fruit bowl, nude, or landscape, the more likely it contains creative connections.


Creating new creative connections is the part of art that I like best.


The above is an updated version of an article that I originally wrote on 6/29/2012.




A dream I remember from last night included circus animals parading up an inside stairwell, changing rooms three times while staying at a hotel, and not knowing if I was going to ride a horse, take Lyft, or drive home. Like many dreams, it was crazy and unrealistic.


Busy Brain


It is believed that crazy dreams are your brain trying to make sense out of things. Those topics may be something we read in the news, a movie we saw, or experienced sometime during our life. With everything that we hear, see, and experience, it is amazing that people’s heads don’t explode when their brain tries to combine the multitude of stimuli that we experience every day.


Yet, somehow the mind manages to connect our experiences and all this information into a story – as crazy as the story may seem. Perhaps the brain is determining how to file the information, exploring new relationships between information, doing a form of learning, or simply trying to keep us sane.


Creativity At Its Finest


Although no one knows exactly what the brain is doing, it is clear that this is creativity at its finest. At times, nighttime creativity can leak into solving real problems or breaking through creative blocks. When people are stuck on a problem, the answer often lies in sleeping on it. The next day, new solutions suddenly appear or issues with previous ideas seem to dissolve.


In a sense, the creativity of sleep is being harnessed and applied to real problems.   However, this is limited to the sleep state and does not occur upon demand.


Applying It Every Day


Just imagine if we could capture hyper-creativity of the dream state and apply it to problems and projects during our waking hours. Amazing things would be created assuming logic, art, and engineering could be integrated with the creativity process.


With focus and possibly relaxation, perhaps creativity can be boosted to levels higher than we normally experience. After all, it is just a matter of connecting the right things in new and different ways.