Small PicassoIf I had three wishes, I might sneak in a selfish request- more creativity.

It’s my belief we all are intoxicated by creativity, the manifestation of our individual ability to create and express our thoughts via a variety of media.

One of the editors of Wired magazine, Daniel Pink wrote a book last year titled, ‘A Whole New Mind.’ This treatise was an idea that suggest today’s most successful people are those who can balance the proverbial right brain/left brain construct – creatives vs. analytical.

Pink’s book is thought provoking and that’s why his byline in the July 2006 Wired. Near the back of the magazine, there’s an editorial and layout of the Seaurat painting, ‘La Grande Jatte’ and seated in front with his mug to the camera is economist David Galenson.

Galenson has written a book titled ‘Painting Outside The Lines – Patterns in Creativity” and is also an art enthusiast. He’s also a nerdy looking economist too, but his research is an interesting idea arguing the notion there are two types of artists – the ‘conceptual innovator’ and the ‘experimental innovator’.

The underlying research splits these two artists into two categories because – one the younger – the conceptual innovator ‘ creates the most innovative and compelling work in their youth. The experimental innovator may take years to create defining work and does so after decades of trials.

There’s some interesting ideas here because Galenson’s research gathers data on many artists of the last century – painters and poets and looks at their most successful work (based on value) and their respective ages at the time. He then itemizes the artists into each of the two categories.

His archetype of both types discuss Picasso (the conceptual) who knew what he wanted and thought about his art before touching the canvas. The editor even suggests this painting (above – full size image), ‘Demoiselles d’Avignon’ is one of the most important paintings of the past one-hundred years and Pablo painted this when he was 26.

On the other side of the spectrum, Cezanne is a influential master painter who’s greatest works came at age 62. His uncertainty leading to the failure to sign 90% of his paintings, while Picasso signed everyone when he completed his work.

Among authors, his research describes the work of Plath and whomever, who created the majority of their work (albeit the Plath suicide) during their formative years. On the other pole, poets and poets – Frost who was into his 60s with his best work and Twain whose recognized work, Huck Finn was written in his 50s.

This is good news for me in two ways. I’ve come to determine that my work benefits most from conceptual innovation and I presume this explains my affinity for jazz improvisation, but still my work is undone. My best as yet to arrive – so I believe for the moment. I’m in it for the long haul and believe it will be worth the wait.

This should be good news for every artists and although it’s not to be accepted as a binary theory, this research is intriguing and leaves us all with a little more hope that great things could be ahead.