The Core of Creativity

What is the science behind creativity? Dive into a unique theory that could be the reason for Salvador Dali’s brilliance. 

My Theory

For better or for worse, everything we experience in life has an influence on us. I believe this goes down to the very core of experience. Some of our earliest influencers were colors, sounds, textures, shapes, etc… Pieces of those things stay within our subconscious, but the problem is, all of this information is too much for us to recall at any given moment. This is where hypnagogia comes in. The hypnagogic state serves a bridge between the logical, physical, world and the abstract, subconscious world. Hypnagogia lets us tap into the primal experiences that have influenced us and apply those in logical scenarios. Basically, the hypnagogic states can allow a person to channel one’s own nostalgia.

My Example

The very first live-action movie I remember watching is Jurassic Park. Because I was only 3 or 4, the movie probably scared me enough to stick with me. A few weeks ago, I re-watched the film and noticed, for the first time, the similarities between the color palette of “Mr. DNA”, and my own. The blues, off-whites, and pinks are all very similar.

Screen Shot 2017-05-28 at 8.40.57 PM
Calvin Welch, 2017, Virginia Beach, VA.

I edit a lot of my photos between 12:00 am-3:00 am, meaning that I’m naturally in a semi-tired, yet semi-hypnagogic state. I’ve never consciously channeled Mr. DNA’s color palette, but it still shows up in my edits because of its nostalgic place in my subconscious.

My Conclusion 

The hypnagogic state isn’t just useful for color though. Salvador Dali credits it for his surrealist paintings, Mary Shelley utilized this state of consciousness to write “Frankenstein”, and even Thomas Edison used hypnagogia to come up with some of his inventions. Furthermore, a recent study has found that channeling nostalgia leads to more creative ideas.

The next time you find yourself dozing off in class, think about a problem you need to solve, an idea you need to create, or a story you need to write, and see if your subconscious helps you answer any of those questions.