Imagine, Work, Trust, Create (The Creativity Series: guest blog)

I met Molly Faulkner many years ago in Lincoln, Nebraska. We were at the International Thespian Festival to run workshops for High School students  from across the country who really, really cared about theater in all its aspects. From there grew a long standing friendship and respect for each others craft: Molly in Dance, mine in theater.

This is a real pleasure to have her here.

The Creativity Series: Guest Post

Imagine, Work, Trust, Create: Molly Faulkner

In trying to answer Stuart’s questions about creativity I found myself trying to define it so I could better investigate how it manifested itself in my own life.  Here’s what I came up with.

There is a world of action and a sense of journey implied in the word creativity.

To be creative is to imagine something and then follow it through to a conclusion. It may not turn out as planned but it leads somewhere. The idea of creativity has engendered many scholars to try and define it, map it, visually represent it, and try and pin it down in language, but the concept is too broad, the process too variable, the experience too personal.

There is a liminality that creativity entrusts to its initiates, standing on the threshold between envisioning and conceiving. The lens of creativity both broadens the focus to encompass connections from outside world and narrows it to recognize how these connections serve the idea. Every step of the path leads to the end of the journey, and there is an inherent trust that it is the “right” path, the ONLY path which will lead to other paths.

Creativity by its very nature is a successive finite endeavor, there has to be a conclusion a product that can be deemed creative. Creativity demands an audience, demands recognition, and demands perspective to be truly appreciated.

Back to Stuart’s questions of the what, how, where, why, and who of creativity, I’m a professor of dance at a community college. I try to be creative in my teaching, in my choreography, and in my administrative work. But more than that I try and let creativity permeate my life and when I let it, it gives me great peace.

I am awed at the connections between living life and the creative process and constantly try to minimize the compartmentalization between “my art” and my life. I learn this lesson over and over again.

When I trust the process and embrace the liminalty there is an excitement rather than an expectation for what’s next, and isn’t that what creativity is all about?

Molly Faulkner is an Associate Professor of Dance at Palomar College in San Marcos, CA. She was a professional ballet dancer, a dancer for Tokyo Disneyland, and the muppet Grover on Sesame St. Live before she discovered a passion for teaching and choreography. She has degrees in dance from the University of Arizona (B.F.A.), University of Iowa (M.F.A.), and Texas Woman’s University (Ph.D.).
Molly Faulkner, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Dance
Palomar College
760 744-1150 ext. 2318