What exactly is Creativity?
Posted by Chris
So what is this Creativity stuff anyway? Is it like a secret sauce that binds a story together? Is it necessary for art to exist at all?
Merriam – Webster defines creativity as : the ability to create.
Dictionary.com expands on this in its second definition which goes something like this: the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination.
What does any of that really mean though? So to be creative means to not be normal? but isn’t normal actually an illusion and rather an average of the collective?
I like to use the Merriam – Webster definition, even though it’s a bit more vague. The ability to create, but how does relate to an ability really?
I mean everyone can create right? You create things every day: A schedule, a meal, excuses, etc. But not everyone is really very creative right?
The Creative Writing class I had in college was my favorite English related class I’d ever had. Why? No it wasn’t the subject matter, or the teacher was the best or anything like that. It was because I could be creative obviously, so what does that mean?
I was able to pick my subject matter, I could pick why I was writing about it, I could decided what direction to steer the reader. It was literately the addition of Choice into writing that I never had the freedom to do until that point.
Creativity is the junction of ideas, choice, and perception of the artist (in the terms of creativity we are all artists in our own way after all).
Whew. Yeah it really took that much just to tease out a definition. If your still here this is where it gets good 😉
Lets define the parts that make up creativity a bit to expand the context of what it really is.
Ideas, everyone has them. They are the start of every story, artwork, or plan. Ideas are the easy part, but creativity is an action word. As an Action word that means there is work, part of that is choice.
Choice, lets you pick. It is really that simple. Pick what? Everything, from the subject, to the direction, to the message/meaning, and more. Choice is the work, but tends to take a lot of people by surprise how hard it can be. When you stare at that blank page, piece of paper, canvas, lump of clay, or whatever, it can be really hard to decide where to start, let alone a message or meaning.
Most people think that the hardest part of writing, or even art, is actually doing the work. Putting words on the page, or paint on the canvas, etc. that is what the writer or artist does to relax, that is not the real work. The real work is direction, perseverance, and keeping on track to not change your message/meaning mid project (sooo easy to fall into that last issue).
If you know much about me, you know that I am a Christian. Since that is ingrained into my perspective you will also find my work tends to show that as well. My creativity will reflect God in it as such.
In fact the living God, Creator of the universe, is the source of all creativity. We cannot actually create anything, only transform what we see, feel or can touch. God however created all of it, including thought. Creativity is a way in which all of mankind reflects its creator. The only way we as humans show our God more is though love. After all, God is Love.
I’ll see you all next week, may God bless you and keep you.