creative members of the staff. To date the efforts of the advertising world in this direc tion have been limited to voic ing some generalities on the handling of creative people and acquainting itself with the tech nique of brainstorming. What ever its virtues, brainstorming is at best an empirical method with little or no basic under standing of the creative process as it is being revealed by con temporary scientific investiga tion. Indeed, a study conducted at Yale indicates that brain storming, far from fostering cre ativity, actually inhibits it. These first investigations into the nature of the creative process have consisted mainly of laboratory projects, psychomet ric tests, and experimental pro grams conducted in schools and colleges as well as in a few for ward-looking industrial firms. During the course of the Conference a considerable body of these research findings was reviewed. Some of the findings reported by the speakers obvi ously surprised the audience. For example, scientific tests showed that creative people place more emphasis and importance on practical matters and utility than their less cre ative colleagues. The Yale study pointed up that "crash" programs are al most invariably fatal to crea tive effort. Another study, when it found that the average age of maximum creativity in Nobel Prize winners was 36 years, sup ported Bill Blackett's conten tion that the "best years of an advertising man's life are be tween the ages of 37." In one group of creative personnel test ed, it was found that 39 per cent felt that management was defi nitely an impeding factor in creativity. Thus far the results of re search as well as a lot of educated guesses point to the probability that creativity in all fields is inter-related; that, in fact, it is the same process in operation whether the work be ing created is a painting, a poem, a scientific invention or a new marketing plan. Perhaps the understanding of creativity will, in part, simply call for the development of an ability to form new associations between factors that were previously un related in our consciousness. History also supports the likelihood of this inter-relation ship; the artists and the scien tists were often the same men. During the Renaissance, it was Leonardo da Vinci and his con freres who were the inventors, the engineers, the geologists, the architects as well as the painters. Ucello, both a mathe matician and a painter, employ ed his knowledge of mathe matics to develop the formula from which evolved Western perspective upon which the painting of 500 years is based. Art and technology have walked hand in hand. It is no accident that the easel picture which, in effect, opens a window on the world, was invented simultane ously but independently in Venice and in Holland, the two centers where glass and lenses came into being. In the past many great practitioners of the fine arts have been scientists, and many great scientists have been cre ative geniuses. In the future creative artists will be recog nized in many other fields. If we accept the new data being accumulated in the laboratory and tested in the field by experts such as those who spoke at this Conference, it is evident that discovering a new wonder drug, designing a rocket propulsion system or developing a radically new mathematical theory uses the same brain circuits as paint ing a masterpiece. The creative process is the same; only the raw material is different. Creativity is not only being investigated, it is being re defined. The new marketing patterns that are emerging in America as a result of popula tion redistribution, develop ment of the shopping center, the role of the automobile, the influence of the vast network of superhighways represent as much of a creative challenge as the composing of a symphony. If we are successful in un locking some of the basic secrets of the creative process, the results should be highly pro ductive in every field. An understanding of the creative process will enable us to provide an environmental and mental climate favorable to inventive ness and the stimulation of the creative imagination. We should be able to devise tests by which we can recognize men and women with extraordinary cre ative ability. We should be able to develop techniques whereby educators can develop talented students and improve the cre ative potential of those less in ventive and imaginative. We should be able to increase im measurably the inventiveness of our scientists, engineers and technicians. Difficult to evaluate in terms of dollars and cents, but of the highest importance, will be the heightened sense of ful fillment and of purpose which will be experienced by the pop ulation as a whole when these principles can be effectively used in the course of our daily lives. Paul Smith President and Creative Director Calkins Holden,Inc. Conference Director, Third Communications Conference on "creativity" Art Directors Club of N ew York 245

Art Directors Annual of Advertising Arts en | 1958 | | page 257