1st Edition

The Psychology of Artistic Creativity An Existential-Phenomenological Study

By Bjarne Sode Funch Copyright 2022
    206 Pages
    by Routledge

    206 Pages
    by Routledge

    This ground-breaking book provides a unique insight into artistic creativity that lays the foundation for a new theory. Through a review of documents such as essays, published interviews, lecture notes, and more, the book uses case studies of six contemporary artists to provide a detailed phenomenological study of artistic creativity.

    The book offers a narrative account of six contemporary artists and their ways of approaching art-making. Through comprehensive accounts based on the individual artist’s descriptions, the book reveals an existential dimension of art-making that explores the inspirational moment, the state of mind during creativity, how creativity can originate in a spontaneous stream of consciousness, and how emotions play a major role in the creative process. The book sets out a unique understanding of artistic creativity as an alternative to the prevailing cognitive conceptions within psychology.

    Offering novel insights into how art is created and can influence the human psyche, the book will primarily appeal to academics, scholars, and post-graduate students within the area of creativity research, psychological aesthetics, and the psychology of art, as well as those with an interest in art and artistic work.




    Chapter One

    Solitude Is Writing: Marguerite Duras on Creative Writing

    • Place of Solitude
    • Separation from Others
    • Solitude as a State of Mind
    • Writing Is the Unknown
    • Writing Comes Like the Wind
    • Doubt Equals Writing
    • Madness of Writing
    • An Open Book Is Also Night
    • The Howls of Animals in the Night
    • Raw and Precise

    Chapter Two

    Inspiration Comes From Your Mind: Agnes Martin on Painting

    • Agnes Martin’s Paintings
    • Passion for the Horizontal Line
    • Inspiration Is a Command
    • A Vacant Mind
    • Beauty Is the Mystery of Life
    • Happiness Is Being on the Beam With Life
    • Abstract Emotions
    • Perfection and Inspiration

    Chapter Three

    Affinity for the Infinite: Einojuhani Rautavaara on Composing

    • First Impetus
    • I Am the Midwife
    • Music Has a Will of Its Own
    • Taste for the Infinite
    • A Glimpse of Eternity

    Chapter Four

    One With a Word: Inger Christensen on Writing Poetry

    • The Blank Paper
    • The Organizing Effect of the Coincidence
    • I Write Like Wind Writes
    • State of Secrecy
    • Language in Its Inextricable Connectedness to Reality
    • Structure Is Already There
    • Undivided Wholeness of the Universe

    Chapter Five

    A Luminous State of Being: Marina Abramović on Performance Art

    • I Am the Work
    • Pure Presence
    • Parallel Realities
    • Walking Through Walls
    • Luminous State of Being
    • Cleaning the House
    • Living Antenna
    • Idea

    Chapter Six

    Differences Within Oneness: Kui Dong on Composition

    • Means to Create
    • Emptying the Mind
    • Sound Idea
    • Concept of Music
    • No Meaning
    • Thin Line of Mystery
    • Emotional Energy
    • Appealing Infinity


    Chapter Seven

    Origins of Artistic Creativity

    • Pure Experience Is Ineffable
    • Ordinary Experience in Daily Life
    • Pulsating Consciousness
    • Pure Experience as Sensation
    • Pure Experience as Living Reality
    • Pure Experience Is an Empty Mind
    • Pure Experience as Oneness
    • Pure Experience Has a Life of Its Own
    • Pure Experience Is Imbued With Vitality
    • Pure Experience as Foreign Power

    Chapter Eight

    The Impulse to Create

    • First Impulse to Create
    • Sensation as Creative Impulse
    • Vitality of the First Creative Impulse
    • Approaching Death to Become Alive
    • Sensate Form and Emotion
    • Sketch of a Phenomenological Model

    Chapter Nine

    Source for Artistic Creativity

    • Emotions in Artistic Creativity
    • Emotional Life
    • Abstract Emotions
    • Existential Imprints
    • Concealed Emotional Memory
    • Emminded Knowledge
    • Source for Artistic Creativity

    Chapter Ten

    A New Model for Artistic Creativity

    • Psychological Creativity Research
    • Existential Approach to Artistic Creativity
    • Prelude to Artistic Creativity
    • Impulse to Create
    • Nature of Creative Process
    • Going With the Flow
    • Embodied Artistic Skill
    • Work of Art



    Bjarne Sode Funch is Associate Professor in Psychological Aesthetics at Roskilde University and Honorary Professor at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.