Interview with Saybrook Creativity Studies Student Diana Rivera
Diana Rivera is a third year student in the Masters to Ph.D Creativity Studies program at Saybrook University. She is currently working on her Master's Thesis.
Tell us a little about your background.
I am a performing artist with extensive training and professional experience in acting, writing and producing for theatre. I wrote and produced shows while I lived in San Francisco. I also use to produce visual art and entertainments events (film festivals, award programs, exhibits). At this point, I do a lot of creative writing--children’s stories, scripts for TV and film concepts that I may or may not produce in the future. I love to create collage art. Professionally, I also provide professional development coaching to creative professionals.
What made you decide to apply to the Creativity Studies program at Saybrook University?
I came to Saybrook University to advance my understanding of psychology and creativity, become acquainted with research, and work with Dr. Steven Pritzker and Dr. Ruth Richards.
What do you plan to do with the knowledge and experience you're getting in the program?
I would like to make the conversation regarding creativity and the nature of imagination more relevant in the fields of education, psychology and corporate America. I plan to see more clients, develop more curriculum, and produce popular books that share what I've learned in a way that is conducive to personal and social transformation. I am ambitious...I guess that’s why I pursue higher education.
You sound like you see creativity as a mission.
I do. Let’s imagine a world where our imagination is never applied. Would that be a world you would like to live in? For me, no way. That is why it is the basis for my academic inquiry. I could share with you data on evolutionary, biological, psychological, educational and clinical theories, yet at the end of the day, there is something quite simple about it. Humanity thrives in creativity, and needs it in order to survive.
Any particular areas of creativity that you've been particularly interested in?
I am interested on flow and blocks to creative process, the state of work-life balance for creative professionals, the lives of artists, as well as the arts impact on innovation and economy. I am also interested in the origin and function of imagination, the multiple dimensions of self in personality, and their pertinence to mental health.
What is the subject of your Master's thesis on?
My MA thesis is on the impact of recession on female creative professionals in Los Angeles. I have interviewed six women from one of the major creative guilds in town, including the SAG-AFTRA, WGA, DGA.
What do you do for fun?
I am fascinated with mime artists, the history of cabaret, the collage art of Joseph Cornell, and old coins. Going to vintage fairs and finding unique artifacts is also inspiring to my creative perceptivity.