We teach from the point of view that people are by nature creative and that creativity, like DNA, is unique to each individual. We believe that in the right atmosphere and with the right tools anyone can tap into the creative stream that runs through us all.
To help you access and develop your creativity, we have developed a progression of exercises and techniques that explore sense perceptions, free-form writing and drawing, associative thinking, mapmaking, constructive daydreaming, memory, collage, and photography.
The only requirements for attending our workshops are curiosity and a desire to explore the creative spirit inherent to us all. We will help you learn to recognize and trust your imagination’s instincts and to understand your creative process. Our exercises are broad paradigms that each participant can easily tailor to her/his own goals, whether they pertain to a particular project or creative expression in general. The Creativity Workshop gives you effective techniques to combat debilitating self-criticism and the fear of failure that lead to creative blocks. We believe that creativity is best served in a playful, nurturing, non-competitive environment where freedom and focus go hand in hand. The Workshop focuses on the creative process, rather than simply the creative product. We emphasize the idea of creativity as a way of living and appreciating life.
Play, Play, Play
We are all born creative, curious, and hungry to explore the world around us. The question is how to keep those qualities alive and flourishing as an adult. That is the goal of The Creativity Workshop and the raison d’être for all its exercises and teachings. For a child, creativity is expressed in play and play is the way s/he learns. Life is just one big erector set that is to be snapped together and pulled apart in a thousand different ways. But as adults we often lose that flexibility of mind and feel compelled to put away our toys as we acquire jobs, kids, and mortgages. We at The Creativity Workshop believe you can retrieve the child’s sense of wonder and it will help you live a richer, deeper life.
Moving Between Visual, Visceral, and Language-Based Exercises
We believe that working back and forth between writing, oral storytelling, drawing, collage, and visual imagery stimulates the full spectrum of human cognition in a way that working within just one discipline does not. Working outside our discipline and therefore out of our comfort zone can release us from stultifying perfectionism and give us the freedom to experiment, and make mistakes. We are free to discover new concepts, new projects, new possibilities.
Nurturing, Non-Competitive Environment
Our workshops foster a nurturing, non-competitive environment where freedom and focus go hand in hand. Participants work on their own as well as in small groups for inspiration.
Workshop participants work on their own and in small groups. Collaboration can enhance individual originality by providing an involved and attentive group atmosphere and new ideas. Finding like-minded individuals to explore the creative process gives participants a support system that goes on long after the workshop ends. This is extremely important because we live in a culture that doesn’t encourage adults to be creative unless it looks like they are going to make money at it. Having people in our lives who don’t believe in that concept of creative worth can help us take our imaginative, inventive selves more seriously. Without imagination we would not have any great scientists, thinkers, or artists. Without creativity, we would have no civilizations at all.
The Creative Spirit
We believe that the creative spirit within us is a trickster that adores turning our world upside down. It is a tempest in our comfortable little teapot. It is our personal daemon determined to imprint our unique voice upon the planet, if only we will let it. It trips us on a banana peel and tickles us silly until we give up and join in its revelry. If The Creativity Workshop could be summed up in one word–it is play. Play is one of the greatest teachers of all and it resides inside each one of us, just waiting to get out.
Shelley Berc and Alejandro Fogel
Founders and directors of The Creativity Workshop