Bonus Tips: Artists on the Creative Process

The notion that we humans can create something out of nothing—whether a novel, a song, a painting or a recipe for vegan chili—is fascinating and just a little bit magical.

Of course, that’s not how brain scientists would put it. According to people in white lab coats, creativity is a matter of brain activity and neural connections. Did you know, for example, that research shows that no matter how you express yourself artistically, the simple act of using your imagination lights up your whole brain more than almost any other activity you can engage in?

leigh_anne_box_smaller-featuredThis online exclusive is by Leigh Anne Jasheway. Jasheway is a stress management and humor expert, comedy writer, stand-up comic, and comedy instructor/coach. She has an M.P.H. degree which is either stands for masters of public health or mistress of public humor She consults with organizations on how to use humor to manage stress, change, and conflict, and boost creativity, teamwork and morale. In 2003, she won the Erma Bombeck Award for Humor Writing, has 21 published books and has hosted two radio programs, Women Under the Influence of Laughter, on KOPT AM in Eugene, Oregon and the Giggle Spot, on All Comedy 1450. She also teaches comedy writing and stand-up and is a part-time faculty member at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications. Follow her @lajfun and

I have always been interested in both science and magic. In retrospect, that is probably because the intersection of the two is art. As a writer who pens humor and nonfiction for various audiences and is always looking to keep things fresh, I wondered what I could discover if I were to pick the brains of some of my most artistic friends, in an array of disciplines: a photographer, a recycled artist, a singer/songwriter, a painter, and a chainsaw artist/sculptor/art therapist (how’s that for a combination?). I’d hoped they would be able to provide ideas that we word-dependent types could use to become more creative—and they didn’t disappoint.

My article in the September 2016 issue of WD—“Creativity in Color”—follows some of my favorites. In the course of putting together the article, nine wonderful artists shared their time and talents with me. Enjoy their additional terrific tips in this online exclusive.

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