The Expressive Instinct: How Imagination and Creative Works Help Us Survive and Thrive (Hardcover)
Self-expression is a fundamental human drive. The need for self-expression can occur through many means both creative and mundane. The Expressive Instinct explains how the complexity of human experiences and the need to express them manifests more profoundly when distilled into artforms and dispels the idea that creativity is the domain of a select gifted few. The book explores the questions: What is the purpose of art in our lives? Could the desire for beauty, to be surrounded by elements of nature, be an innate need? Are art and creative expression essential for a good life? In this book, Dr. Kaimal links over 10 years of research, theories of evolutionary biology, brain sciences, as well as her own lifelong journey as an artist, scholar and educator in many personal and professional roles (textile designer, art therapist, researcher and educator). This book makes the case for why we as human beings need to stay creative and not lose our abilities to channel our inner lives in adaptive expressive ways. The arts, the book argues, are a container for the range of human experiences. Creative expression helps us practice and externalize imagination which in turn helps build resilience for dealing with uncertainty and change.
Girija Kaimal is an Associate Professor in the PhD program in Creative Arts Therapies and Assistant Dean for Special Research Initiatives at the Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions.