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Year of Graduation
MFA: Children’s Book Writing and Illustrating
Mary Jane Begin
My M.F.A. project, including three picture book manuscripts and a scholarly essay, addresses the creative process. These documents reflect the process of making artistic endeavors from conception to final product and audience reaction. I explore the value children’s creativity and creations can bring to a world that is oversaturated with stories and images, as well as the value of the creative process itself. I discuss each of the three manuscripts — “Brainstorm,” “The Picture Maker,” and “Scarlet the Scribbler”— in conjunction with three key ideas from different scholars: imagination, symphony, and flow. The imagination section summarizes ideas from Art and Fear: On the Perils (And Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles and Ted Orland and highlights the problem of trying to come up with an original idea while celebrating the magic of brainstorming. The symphony section borrows its title and central scholarly idea from Daniel H. Pink’s book A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, with a focus on being able to synthesize your ideas with personal experience in order to give them a unique quality. The final section on flow is inspired by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience and suggests that the point of creating for an artist must be the intrinsic benefits of creating itself, rather than waiting for others approval or applause.
Deane, Beverly, "Process Over Product: A Child’s Creative Journey" (2023). Children's Book Writing and Illustrating (MFA) Theses, Hollins University. 14.
The purpose of preserving this thesis document is to provide a definitive record of student progress upon completion of the degree. This text will not reflect any revisions to the manuscript made after degree completion. For the most current version of the work, please contact its author.