What is Creativity?
What is Creativity?
Lets define creativity in order to better understand what creativity is. People searching online might search ‘define creativity’. Or even ‘creative ideas’. But the definition of creativity is varied depending on where you’re looking.
Google tells it like so:
“the use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness.”
The Business Dictionary states:
“Mental characteristic that allows a person to think outside of the box, which results in innovative or different approaches to a particular task.”
Bill Gates would have you believe that creativity is down to computers:
“I think it’s fair to say that personal computers have become the most empowering tool we’ve ever created. They’re tools of communication, they’re tools of creativity, and they can be shaped by their user.”
And then there is Charles Mingus:
“Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can plan weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”
My definition? Hmmm…
When I think of myself being creative, it incorporates many different things.
It could be in the way I plan an outfit. The way I teach a child long multiplication so that he understands it. It could the the way I write an email to a visa application service. Or the way I cook a meal. Even the way I organise my books and records in a cupboard. But do we consider that these are real creative ideas? Is creating one plate of food for a family of four and having each element ready at the same time classifiable as being creative? Planning skills yes, but I also believe its a creative act. Often we don’t have everything we need, so our options become improvising on the spot, or giving up. The improvisation aspect is us becoming even more creative with what we have to hand.
In much the same way as planning a drawing. What are you going to draw? You glance around and what do you see? A teacup. A window. Further afield, theres a boat on the river beyond the window. Which incidentally is splattered with heavy raindrops so that everything is more than slightly obscured. But that’s ok, we’ll just work around that, figure out a way to make these elements work together. Maybe the raindrops will actually be little teacups sliding down the windows? Oops, was that us being creative right there?
Remember at school? Being set the task of drawing your ma and pa? My Pa had blue hair, and it was LONG, at least in my drawing. But my Pa didn’t ACTUALLY have long blue hair. And I got criticised for being silly. I’m still ‘silly’ to this day, only now I’ve labelled it ‘creative‘.
Creativity is about doing something interesting with something.
Challenging the ‘accepted’ way, doing it YOUR way, and not being afraid of the outcome. Letting go and seeing what happens and embracing the final result.
I’d really love to hear your thoughts on what Creativity means to you. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org