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Art professors' keys to activating creativity

October 8, 2019 | Wendell Slater, Communications Assistant, College of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities |

Untitled, from Jipson's Chthonic Series

Da Vinci created the Mona Lisa, one of the most famous paintings in the world. However, it’s not widely known that he also created the first dimensions for the first tank, the first helicopter, and parachute! Da Vinci’s view of creativity and understanding of a wide variety of fields his creativity applied in should have everybody rethinking what it means to be creative. August 25th, Jim Jipson, UWF art professor, presented a lecture to the students of the University of West Florida about the power and skill of entrepreneurial creativity. The lecture series serves to promote the Da Vinci Innovation Celebration, hosted by the UWF Center for Entrepreneurship. During the discussion, Jipson offered his creativity routine to help the students in attendance. The Center for Entrepreneurship’s event series’ goal is to help students increase their creative cognitive skills for personal and professional development.

"Jim has been an amazing supporter of the Center for Entrepreneurship. He is a regular speaker at our events and always provides the students with valuable skills to enhance their creativity. Creativity is at the core of creating successful new products and services for business. New innovations require creative inquiry into the problems facing potential customers. Once a problem is fully understood, creative problem-solving skills are used to come up with potential solutions." James Sparks is the manager of UWF’s Center for Entrepreneurship and facilitates the Center for Entrepreneurship's Speaker Series.

Jipson’s Tips for Boosting Creativity

1. Drink Water.

Don’t be fooled by the name, negative ions are actually good. The most common way to gain negative ions is from consuming and being exposed to water. Water is a natural way of providing negative ions for the body without proper water hydration people have, like Jipson likes to say, “A raisin for a brain, instead of a grape.” That’s right, going to the beach is beneficial for a professional career.

2. Be Fearless.

According to Jipson, people who believe they aren’t creative suffer from fear of ‘not being the best creative.’ Jipson says, “Everyone, while they were children, doodled. When you're young, you drew to your heart's content until you realize your drawing wasn’t that good. Then, you stopped. Fear is the ultimate enemy of creativity.” Jipson suggests that everyone can be creative, no matter the degree or field of study. He suggests that students must learn to push through that fear.

3. Go Outside. 

Jipson also suggests getting out into nature. Studies have shown that being out in nature reduces stress and boosts creativity, focus, and overall mood. Going for a walk gets the body moving and the brain thinking. Paired with Jipson’s tip for getting out into the water, He says the best bet to beat a creative block is to go for a walk on the beach.

4. Sleep Well. 

Get a good night’s sleep! Jipson has a creativity boosting method called “Incubation.” In order to “incubate” Jipson says to jot down a list of ideas.  Review the list right before going to sleep. Wake up, review the list again. Sometimes an unexpected solution simply falls into place. Of course, a proper sleep schedule also benefits physical and mental health, as well as reduces stress- which all contribute to increasing creativity.

The use of creativity and innovative thinking is vital to a growing number of fields of study. Jipson has recommended that spending time outside, staying hydrated, getting good sleep and, most importantly, facing personal fears, can assist in activating the creative mind and help move toward goal achievement. The Da Vinci Innovation Celebration submission deadline is October 21st, the event will be November 6, at the UWF Great Hall. For more information on the Da Vinci Celebration, visit the UWF Center for Entrepreneurship online

Visit Jipson's UWF Art faculty profile online.    To see some of Jipson's additional work, visit his website.

Visit the UWF Center for Entreprenurship online for more information about Da Vinci Innovation Celebration.