ARTICLE SuMMARY: When it comes to creativity ambiguity can be a two edged sword, knowing how to navigate it can enhance your creative process.

Learning when and how to focus and unfocus is critical to being a creative and enhances your ability to be open to more than just one view, a must have if you are a true creative.

In Andrea Small‘s article “Why Focus And Unfocus Are Vital For Creativity” she uses the Mona Lisa for an example of ambiguity and how different views affect perception on the final product. Some of her conclusions are

  • Spend less time on trivial stuff
  • There’s an upside of downtime
  • Give yourself a break

If you study the Mona Lisa you’ll find if you focus her eyes you see her smile, if you focus on her mouth you will never see the smile.The reason for this is that Dr. Margaret Livingstone says the human eye has two distinct regions for seeing the world: a peripheral area where we see black and white, motion, and shadows and a central area where we see color and pick out details.

In How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, Michael J. Gelb writes Da Vinci learned to follow a rhythm of intense focus and relaxation to maximize his creativity. He was fueled by sharing and discussing ideas with others, but he also needed solo time for creative insights to come.

When it comes to creativity there is a lot to learn from the masters of old, the genius they displayed in their creations and how their minds worked is something worth emulating.