Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis - Campus Access


English (ENGL)

First Advisor

Theresia de Vroom


Creativity experts say that creativity is not something inherent, but is instead something that can be learned, developed, and even turned into a habit. For my project, I explore firsthand this process. I completed twenty-four activities from the creativity workshop in Mari Messler’s book, Pencil Dancing: New Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit. Each chapter features activities that challenge the reader to think and engage with the surrounding world. According to Messler, these are the best ways to arouse creative ideas. Messler writes, “If you do a creative exercise before performing a task, you’ll do a better job... Many authorities say creativity is not so much an inborn talent as a habit of mind. Like any good habit, creativity can be learned—or at least released from confinement.” Creativity is needed in all areas of life, not just the arts. New ideas and solutions are useful in business, government, education, non-profits, parenting, working with social media and in just about every other area of life. In this project, you will see a series of completed creative exercises paired with photography. At the very end, I paired my photography with my flash fiction to demonstrate this path to creativity. As a kid I would sit at my tiny desk with a tiara on my head and write short stories about talking penguins. I haven’t done that in a while. My thesis project taught me how to put that tiara back on and embrace my inner kid — the best path to creativity.