Creative Children – Creative Adults

In one of Robert Genn’s recent newsletters he talks about a study of creative children that grow into creative adults. The psychologist Ellen Winner found that creative people choose their path very early in life and they often have similarities like; scholastic boredom, difficulty making friends, and social problems.

Here’s some more characteristics of creative people from Robert’s article..

  • Visual perceptions that transcend everyday life
  • Heightened responses to natural surroundings
  • Sustained high standards of work ethic
  • Early presence of mentor(s)
  • Early formation of personal identity
  • Tendency to do things in unique ways
  • Preference to work autonomously
  • Defiance or suspicion of conventional thinking

I think I suffer from (or am blessed with?) all of the characteristics above. Another funny observation that I have made over the years is that artists generally like other artists. It’s almost like we have joined some special club where the members are connected on a lot of different levels.

Perhaps it is the same connection that firemen, plumbers, or accountants feel when they get together, but I think it’s something more. Read the rest of the newsletter here.

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. I ran across your blog as I was looking at other blogs. I just wanted to say that I totally agree. :) Words of wisdom! GREAT POST! :)

  2. It is hardly surprising that creative children grow into creative adults, because they have a way of thinking – “divergent” – that should be lifelong.
    The father of this fascinating line of research was Liam Hudson, who worked in an English public school and noticed that exceptionally creative boys were not always those with the highest I.Q.’s. He found that creative boys could think of more than one answer to traditional I.Q. tests, while less creative boys saw only one answer: the correct one.
    He called the creative boys divergent thinkers and the non-creative ones convergent thinkers. He changed our view of the value of I.Q. tests.
    There is a very simple test to find out how creative you are. It’s called “The Uses of a Brick Test”. It’s open-ended (no time limit). You sit down with a sheet of paper and write down all the uses for a brick you can think of.
    I tried this with a friend with a high I.Q. who is excellent at maths and science and totally without imagination. He scored 6 uses of a brick and gave up. An hour later, I’d scored 200!
    Try it. See how well you do.

  3. when this one came in my inbox, i grinned bigtime at the bullet points listed too, i fit every one of them.

    and i think there is a kinship in the other genres of people (haha) firefighters must have their own quirks that they feel best hanging out with too.

    love genn’s letters, i’ve been getting them forever and i hope he never stops! ;)

  4. I have to laugh at the list as it is so near to what I am like.
    When I first encountered a multiple choice test when I came to the united states I had an awful time with them. How could I say yes or no to a question when I questioned the question lol! How can the answer be accurate if the question asked is not something I would have done in the first place. aha!!!!!!! I had a psych teacher in md do something similar on with a pencil. It was really interesting. Going to have to try the brick test :)

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