This is a revised version of an older post. I wanted to revisit the idea of creativity. Through the books and media I have consumed since then (months ago), I developed a deeper sense of what is creativity.
Side note: It’s also my two-year anniversary since I started on Ethereal Seals! It’s amazing to think I’ve come so far in only a few years. Who knows what lies on the horizon for my story. I’m certainly looking forward to it. 🙂 Anyway, back to the article.
A Creative Introduction
What is Creativity?
“Creativity is defined as the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others.”
―Robert E. Franken―
What is creativity or imagination? These elusive terms are difficult to pin down. Human imagination shows terrific promise. It accomplishes achievements while participating in humanity’s gruesome sins.
Human vision has no limits, save the ones we place. With enough ingenuity and patience, the strength of creativity can move mountains. Channeling one’s creativity is paramount as humans. It is our birthright and sets us apart from lower life forms.
Who uses creativity?
Creativity often links with artisans, such as writers, painters, musicians, and so forth. Yet imagination is so much more—even business people can use it.
Some may say creativity is an extension of free will. We choose the variables in a given system, for better or worse. The arts are akin to our souls experimenting and expressing our true nature to the universe. This ability to choose that renders us as creators, preservers, and destroyers.
“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”
The Responsibility of Imagination
We are responsible for how we use this awesome power, ultimately determining our trajectory in life. What is creativity without a guiding hand to steer imagination’s wild nature?
Even so, there may be limited resources in place to restrict or test our creativity. Accumulation of these resources, whether it is money, food, or authority, strengthens our ability to choose.
We associate value with these resources, as they enable us. This ability to act may be coined power. Therefore, creativity fueled by resources and implemented through power builds the reality around us.
The Workings of Creativity
Creativity is different from imagination. Imagination forms the creative idea—creativity transmutes the concept into a final product. Lacking one or the other destroys the creative cycle.
In this sense, the act of creativity is like alchemy—transmuting lead to gold. Birthing the creative gold takes work—and sometimes you may fail in the process. Commitment is a significant factor in the creative process.
The Components of Creativity
Here’s a diagram by Harvard Business Review ’98 that details the facets of creativity.
- Expertise is the logical, restrictive, and straightforward intellect. A left-brained category.
- Creative-thinking is the right-brained category of imagination, fertility, and freedom.
- Motivation is the commitment factor—the long-term objective; the journey wrought by the mind.
When these three categories mesh together, creativity ignites within us.
The Global Creativity Gap
Here’s another comparative study by Adobe regarding creativity and how people view it. I found it insightful.
It is ironic that our world values creativity, yet most don’t live up to their creative potential. We live in a society of mechanized production rather than free imagination.
What will the future hold for humanity if we continue at this pace? Will it change? How? Some questions to ponder after you finish this article.
How to Maximize Creativity
Here are some ideas for you, the reader, to try. Forming a routine with these steps could provide dividends.
Do Something You Enjoy
It was Einstein himself who proposed this idea. Performing a task that brings fulfillment can help ease stress, clearing the mind. Whatever it may be, include it in your schedule for that creative boost.
Work and rest go hand-in-hand. Sometimes the greatest ideas come to those who unplug from our busy world.
“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.”
If you’re out of ideas, try relaxing or meditating. Practice mindfulness meditation for the best results. Here’s an older article I wrote on the science behind it.
Exercise stimulates brain circulation. Long walks are a great way to feed your brain that creative juice. This Standford study suggests that walking improves creativity.
Embrace the Absurd
Sometimes the craziest ideas have merit. Many writers and artists, like Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear, made use of the inane to fuel their creative works. Sometimes, from the depths of absurdity, genius can emerge. It can’t hurt, can it?
Another illustrative Diagram
Here’s a chart summarizing other ways to maximize your creative potential.
Creativity is an elusive mistress, full of mystery and arcane prowess. Discovering the foundations of imagination may reveal untold secrets to humankind.
In an age rife with conflict and misery, perhaps the solution is surrendering to the creative child within us all.
I hope this article has helped you in whatever creative projects you have. That said, I’ll finish with one last inspiring quote. Cheers.
“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.”
Thank you for reading. Have a great weekend, everyone. There’ll be more to come. 🙂
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