Creating Art: An Experience Sampling Study in the Domain of Moving Image Art

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Abstract

This study investigated work-related behaviors and feelings in the process of creating art. In a collaborative effort by creativity researchers and artistic researchers, we invited artists to create a short film or video for an international art competition and monitored them for 2 weeks while producing the artwork. The artists provided daily reflections on their work process via smartphone or online experience sampling, and we assessed relevant person data via an online questionnaire. Multilevel models were used to explain variability in artwork advancement beyond linear increases over time. Artwork advancement was predicted by deliberate engagement, engrossment in details and enjoyment of work, and by reduced work-related feelings of anxiety and “walking in a fog.” Between-person analyses revealed that artists with higher past artistic achievement and lower agreeableness produced artworks of higher quality in terms of the evaluations by the competition jury. This study demonstrates the feasibility of experience sampling methods for the investigation of extended creative work and highlights some general processes and relevant traits in the process of creating art.

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