Any human activity that results in something new be that physical, mental or emotional is called a creative act. A very common question that is being asked many times is how this creativity takes place? The psychological analysis signifies creativity to be a lot complex. It does not take place at once rather slowly and steadily it moves from more basic to a more complex form.
In order to understand the relationship between creativity and imagination, the best way is to clarify the relationship between fantasy and creativity. There are basically four ways in which imagination is related to reality, this will let us know that imagination is neither our mental activity nor a reality but a function which is essential to life.
1. The first relationship between imagination and reality signifies that every imagination is based upon a reality which is linked to past experiences. Dreams, legends, myths, fairy tales and alike all belong to realities that are further transformed into what we call imagination. For example fairy tales like The Elves and the shoemaker, little red riding hood, Pinocchio, gingerbread man, Cinderella, beauty and the beast, Rapunzel etc consists of elements that are taken from the real world. Furthermore these combinations are made little complex like Rapunzel having such long hair, Pinocchio’s nose growing in size or pumpkins turning into Cinderella’s ride. Therefore the quality of imagination depends upon richness and variety of contact as a previous experience. Such experience provides material for the construction of fantasies. This is why children are less imaginative than adults because of their less exposure to the outer world.
2. The second relationship between imagination and reality is quite unlike the first one. It shows up the other side of the picture in which a relationship between the final imaginary product and multifaceted real happenings takes place. For example when we study history or any other sort of a subject be that philosophy or geography we always construct a picture for ourselves. Even for places or events we do the same. For example when talking about mountains or when we hear anything related to K-2 or Mount Everest we imagine the dangerous slopes, the snow, the extreme weather, the mountaineers , Igloo etc. Human beings does not copy paste the previous past experiences based on study and stories rather they create the new one with the help of combining the different past experiences. The baseline is the social experience i.e. if no one has ever seen or described a mountain before, it won’t be possible to imagine K-2 or Mount Everest.
In short imagination plays a vital role in human development and human behaviour. It broadens person’s experience and can help visualize mentally and develop a thought from someone else’s narration. Overall imagination is an essential condition for human mental activity. Closely observing, there is a mutual dependence between imagination and experience. In the first point we can see imagination being based on experience and in second experience based on imagination.
3. The third relationship between imagination and reality is the emotional one. Every feeling and every emotion has a specific image. Emotions have the power to select impressions, thoughts and images. Psychology states the fact that feelings are not only external (Physical expressions) but internal also, that correlate with the choice of images, impressions and thoughts. This is known as dual expression of feeling. For example if you are going in a jungle and confronts a bear, instantly you will become fearful and the symptoms will be sweating, trembling, becoming pale, High heart beats etc. These will be external feelings. On the other end all the feelings and expressions that come to you during that time of fear will be labeled as internal. As people long ago started presenting their internal states with a language of external expressions and selected different colors for this purpose, for example the color black represents sorrow and mourning, white represents happiness, and light blue and red represents serenity and rebellion respectively. Likewise images of imaginations serve up as internal expressions of our feelings.
4. The last relationship between imagination and reality is quite different from the previous ones. Construction of fantasy results into something new that humans have not experienced before and becomes part of the real world. These mainly include instruments, technical devices, and machines. Usually such products have a long history. The elements that help as a baseline are usually taken from reality, and within the mind of the inventor a complex reworking takes place and results in the products of imagination. Once this product starts existing in reality they start acting as having potential to alter the reality. This whole process does not apply only to technology but also large traces are found in the area of emotional imagination.