Psych Central


Korean musical instrument-JangguThey may be identified with one form of creativity – such as writing or acting, one of the visual arts, or performing music – but so many people work in multiple ways, in more than one area of creative expression. And they may not even think it is extraordinary to be so multifaceted.

In his post Creatives With Multiple Talents (on his blog The Artist’s Road), writer and instructor Patrick Ross mentions meeting two students in a Masters in Writing program who are about to graduate.

“They told me about a talent show their class held at their last on-campus residency. One of them said he had performed on the violin. The other told me he has acting experience but didn’t want to do a one-man show, so he performed magic tricks. I said it was interesting that all of these writing students had another talent they could perform.

“The violin player looked at me as if I had just expressed bafflement that an orange was the color orange. ‘All creative people have multiple talents, don’t they?’

“They do, scientists tell us, even if they don’t realize it,” Ross adds. “After all, if you’ve never picked up a musical instrument, you may not realize you have a predisposition to excel at it. But the creative brain knows how to both master a skill and think in ways others would find counter-intuitive to breathe new life into that skill.”

Throughout posts here on The Creative Mind and on my other sites, there are references to multitalented creators; here are a few well-known examples of accomplished artists:

Julia Cameron is well-known as the author of The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, and has been a writer since the age of eighteen, creating short stories, essays and political journalism articles, and more than thirty books including a crime novel, plus volumes of children’s poems and prayers.

She is also an award-winning poet and playwright, with extensive film and theater credits, including writing an episode of the TV show Miami Vice, and writer and director of the movie God’s Will. She collaborated with her former husband Martin Scorsese on three films. For her musicals, Cameron serves as composer as well as libretto-writer and lyricist.

She has a quote on her site that I really appreciate: “Most of us have no idea of our real creative height. We are much more gifted than we know.”

She also leads Julia Cameron Live – an online course and artists’ community based on The Artist’s Way.

{Photo from post: The mind of gifted adults: Julia Cameron on her mental health challenges}

Bryce Dallas Howard is an acclaimed actor in many movies including The Help; Hereafter; The Twilight Saga: Eclipse; The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, and others, and has credits as a vocalist for a movie soundtrack, for musical production, and as a producer, screenwriter and director.

Actor Jamie Lee Curtis has written a number of children’s books.

Actor Jane Seymour is author of several books and art kits, and is an accomplished and widely published painter.

Before graduating from Harvard with a psychology degree, actor Natalie Portman was credited as a research assistant to Alan Dershowitz and was co-author of a study on memory called “Frontal Lobe Activation During Object Permanence” that was published in a scientific journal.

James Franco – in addition to acting – was enrolled in Yale University’s English PhD program, and has earned a master’s degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and Columbia University’s MFA writing programs.

Read more examples in an excerpt from my book Developing Multiple Talents: The personal side of creative expression:

Multitalented creative people

But just because we don’t match some of these people in terms of achievement, doesn’t mean we are not in fact multitalented. There are many issues and influences affecting how fully we can realize our abilities. That’s one of the points of my book.

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    Last reviewed: 8 May 2013

APA Reference
Eby, D. (2013). Aren’t All Creative People Multitalented?. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 18, 2014, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/creative-mind/2013/05/arent-all-creative-people-multitalented/

 

 

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