The Benefit of Imitation for Creativity in Art and Design: The Cases of Gerhard Richter and J Mays

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Abstract

Many artists and designers borrow, cite, or seek inspiration in external source materials in their daily creative practice. The aim of this chapter is to show that imitation of external source material offers creative professionals the opportunity to introduce an element of surprise to the creative act, which may explain why a creative product with very little or no originality whatsoever can nevertheless gain reputation as being creative. The literature on imitation in psychology and the humanities will be reviewed in parallel to a recent suggestion in creativity research to give more prominence to the criterion of surprise in the study of creativity. The potential benefit of imitation for creativity in art and design will be illustrated with a description of the working practices of the prominent painter Gerhard Richter and the famous car designer J Mays – two contemporary creative professionals renowned for usage of external source material in their own creative work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExploring the Benefits of Creativity in Education, Media, and the Arts
EditorsNava Silton
Place of PublicationHershey
PublisherIGI Global
Pages305-326
ISBN (Electronic)9781522505051
ISBN (Print)9781522505044
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • creativity
  • imitation
  • art
  • Design

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