NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1154396
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 34
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0364-0213
Imitation, Inspiration, and Creation: Cognitive Process of Creative Drawing by Copying Others' Artworks
Okada, Takeshi; Ishibashi, Kentaro
Cognitive Science, v41 n7 p1804-1837 Sep 2017
To investigate the cognitive processes underlying creative inspiration, we tested the extent to which viewing or copying prior examples impacted creative output in art. In Experiment 1, undergraduates made drawings under three conditions: (a) copying an artist's drawing, then producing an original drawing; (b) producing an original drawing without having seen another's work; and (c) copying another artist's work, then reproducing that artist's style independently. We discovered that through copying unfamiliar abstract drawings, participants were able to produce creative drawings qualitatively different from the model drawings. Process analyses suggested that participants' cognitive constraints became relaxed, and new perspectives were formed from copying another's artwork. Experiment 2 showed that exposure to styles of artwork considered unfamiliar facilitated creativity in drawing, while styles considered familiar did not do so. Experiment 3 showed that both copying and thoroughly viewing artwork executed using an unfamiliar style facilitated creativity in drawing, whereas merely thinking about alternative styles of artistic representation did not do so. These experiments revealed that deep encounters with unfamiliar artworks--whether through copying or prolonged observation--change people's cognitive representations of the act of drawing to produce novel artwork.
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A