Chavez Hines 'Creativity And The Artistic Temperament'

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Creativity and the Artistic Temperament
Culturally, the characterisation of the creative individual pertains less to an individual’s ability to be creative or their talent, and more towards conventions that society recognise as artistic temperament. Temperament refers to a prominent quality of mind. The artistic temperament is often thought of as a heightened state of emotional sensitivity that can border on the verge of instability. This temperament is thought of exhibiting signs of mental-illness. The question that arises from this relates to human nature: is creativity born from an innate artistic temperament which is all creative types inhabit in one form or another? This essay will examine this idea through the exploration of historical
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Hines describes this idea as ‘the tension of opposites’ that describes a duality of temperament in which the artist needs in order ‘to provide the requisite tension to spark a creative work.’ Introversion and performance are an example of two opposites that create tension. While the idea of creativity, and where creative ideas come from, has been examined on different levels such as the biological, psychopathological and psychological, a duality of temperament is has always appeared as a common theme. For example, on a personality level, Chavez-Eakle argues that creativity is spilt between ‘temperament and character’, in which the ‘former is a biological dimension and is heritable, representing a potential for development; the latter is molded by environmental and sociocultural factors’ (). While internal and external influences may establish creativity it is how the individual reacts to these factors that affect their artistic temperament. These dualities of temperament can be valuable to the process of creation but can leave ‘the individual vulnerable to acute psychological suffering when the inner divisions become too great, or are left unconscious’ (Hines). This would imply that a balance between these oppositions must be struck in order to keep the artistic temperament from tipping over into instability. The idea of the artistic temperament is reinforced when signs of instability become evident in an individual. However, the majority of creatives are able to maintain a healthy and functional

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