Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

To own the art within the soul: A study of the development of creative voice in professional artists
by Zimbleman, Colin, Ph.D., Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2011, 240; 3551674
Abstract (Summary)

This exploratory qualitative study seeks to find central themes that provide a conceptual structure of the lived experience of developing a creative voice in the professional artist. Using phenomenological and heuristic research methods, this study attempts to answer the following questions: What is the lived experience of developing one's creative voice, and what are the common themes pertaining to the development of one's creative voice? These questions emerge, in part, from this researcher's understanding of Csikszentmihalyi's pioneering works on creativity. This study, while focusing solely on creativity as found in visual artists, begins to expand Csikszentmihalyi's studies by examining this phenomenon through an archetypal and depth psychological perspective.

Findings of the study reveal 19 common themes among the artist participants. These themes are ordered within 3 categories. Within the category of Foundational Themes are creativity/curiosity present since childhood; preference for self-reliance and trial-and-error learning; and preference for solitude. Within Emerging Themes are a preference for directed, focused study; development of structured working process; emphasis on feeling and intuition; cultivation of a connection to history; engagement with therapy; experience of support from home, spouse, and others; sense of conflict with domain of art; awareness of patterns in one's own work; experience of limitation of material; pursuit of exposure to grounding experiences; participation in parallel creative activity; and experiences of self-doubt. And finally, within Destination Themes are reverential attitude; the image of an artist as a container for transcendent elements; intention directed toward the benefit of others; and materials becoming language and part of the living expression of the artist.

Findings of this study are relevant to psychologists, educators, and those in the field of social work who work with higher functioning clients or clients with a creative aptitude. Findings also apply to the layperson who is interested to know more about the nature of the lived creative life and processes of individuation.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Panajian, Avedis
Commitee: Bennett, Matthew, Irueste-Montes, Ana Maria
School: Pacifica Graduate Institute
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 74/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Art education, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Artistic interviews, Creative development, Pure archetype
Publication Number: 3551674
ISBN: 9781267896278
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