The Creative Process: Stories from the Arts and Sciences asks how celebrated works of art and breakthroughs in science came to be. What was the first inkling? What were the steps and missteps along the way? How was the process experienced by the creative person as it proceeded? And what are the implications for the psychology of the creative process?

Each chapter focuses on a specific creative endeavor, situating the work in the context of domain, culture, and historical era. Then it traces the development of the work—from what we know of its beginnings to its fulfillment. Qualitative materials—interviews, notebooks, diaries, sketches, drafts, and other writings—allow a story of the creative process as lived to emerge. The narratives exemplify established concepts in the psychology of creativity, propose broadening some, reveal the need for modification, and suggest new ones. Application of phenomenological frameworks illuminate the episodes in new ways as well. The case study approach proves again that each episode is unique, yet themes and variations come into view when the episodes are considered together in a final reflection.

From Darwin’s theory to an unusual jazz sound, here are 11 fascinating stories of how specific works took shape. Psychologists, students interested in creativity, and all those intrigued by the process in any creative field will find this book essential reading.

chapter |6 pages


part I|44 pages

Classic Case Studies of Creative Episodes

chapter 1|13 pages

How Poincaré Inspired Psychologists

Experiences in a Mathematics Contest

chapter 2|15 pages

Darwin's Path to Evolution Theory

Changing Frameworks and Feelings

chapter 3|14 pages

Picasso's Guernica

The Creative Process in Art as Visual Thinking

part II|28 pages

Creating as Navigating Among Different Psychological Worlds

chapter 4|13 pages

Creating Novels and Short Stories

The Writing Realm and the Fiction World

chapter 5|13 pages

Acting for the Stage

How Three Actors Created Their Roles

part III|28 pages

Focus on Intuition and Embodied Creating

chapter 6|13 pages

Music by Biscardi

Letting the Hands Go Someplace

chapter 7|13 pages

Sendak's Search

Finding and Taming the Wild Things

part IV|28 pages

Writers as Phenomenologists

chapter 8|13 pages

Tolstoy's Anna Karenina

From Condemnation to Understanding

chapter 9|13 pages

Woolf's To the Lighthouse

Revelations from Streams of Consciousness

part V|36 pages

Creating Collaborations in Science and Art

chapter 10|13 pages

Blackburn and Company

Unraveling the Telomere Mysteries

chapter 11|13 pages

Ron Carter's Nonet

Inventing and Developing a New Sound

chapter |8 pages