What Does Creativity Mean To You?

Have you ever paused to consider your personal definition of creativity?

I’m fairly certain there are oodles and oodles of articles, books, and blogs on the topic – but I want to know what it means to YOU.

Is Creativity more than just being artistic?

I spent most of my early life believing I was not creative because I compared myself to my brother who is an artistic genius. Back then, I misunderstood creativity, assuming that it was synonymous with artistic. Since I couldn’t paint, draw, or sculpt, I figured I was just a cerebral, non-creative gal.

I actually once thought (when I was younger and sillier) that all the songs might someday be written – that somehow, all the combinations would eventually get used up. Yet here we are, 20 years later, and people continue to write and produce new music every single day.

Back when I saw myself as a non-creative type, I wasn’t giving myself credit for my innate ability to express myself through words, both verbal and written. I didn’t understand that my eye in photography, zest for planning fabulous parties, quirky perspective, and ability to call up great ideas are all indicative of creativity!

To me, creativity is infinite possibility – need only to be accessed by our imagination.

These days, I’m constantly inundated with non-stop creative inspiration. (no complaints here!)

Defining Creativity

According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, Creativity can be defined as the:
Ability to produce something new through imaginative skill, whether a new solution to a problem, a new method or device, or a new artistic object or form. The term generally refers to a richness of ideas and originality of thinking.”

 

Creativity is:
  • allowing your personality to shine
  • daring to be different
  • allowing the mind to roam freely
  • trusting your instincts to produce something different, exciting, and worthwhile
  • two ideas coming together to create something new
  • doing the same thing over and over again, but making it fresh and different each time
  • adapting the rules to suit the situation
  • the ability to express yourself freely in whichever way you choose without having your wings clipped

Developing Your Creativity

Can you manufacture creativity? I believe so – first by keeping your mind open, like a child. Be wiling to imagine new things and new possibilities. I love what Jason Silva has to say in this video about ‘engineering creativity’:
What does creativity mean to you? What is YOUR definition? How often do you dabble in the realm of possibilities and imagination?
 
Creativity is a birthright for every one of us. It may come easier to some, but all can practice being in the state of allowance, curiosity, awe, and receptivity. Be willing to experience the world from a perpetual state of new discovery.

 

With mucho a latte of love and respect,

Janet Louise Stephenson signature
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Creativity is a gift.

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4 Responses

  1. Oscar Gonzalez
    | Reply

    I loved this post because creativity is very personal and many people try to define it for others. It shouldn’t be the case, that’s the beauty of art and why it’s so different and varied throughout culture, time and space. I also love that you believe in developing creativity there’s also a big group of people that believe you are either born with creativity or not. I clearly disagree and believe that creativity is just a muscle to work out.

  2. Wendy Cobrda
    | Reply

    I love reading your posts. They make me think!

    I have to agree with your position that creativity can be learned. I would like to add that often it is permission to be non-traditional — permission not from society, but from ourselves that is the missing ingredient. Add that to creativity “tools.” Sometimes, we just need to be shown something simple and then we can take that grain and expand upon it, layer by layer — to produce our very own precious pearl.

    I have taken my kids to paint pottery for years. In the beginning, they would just put paint on a piece without any direction at all. They’d layer on color, but didn’t seem joyous about it. They quickly lost interest because their pieces didn’t look like anything familiar.

    I remember one time, my son was painting a frog planter. I showed him how to use both browns and greens and blacks with a sponge to create visual texture. Just a little help took him to the next level. He used those creative concepts and continued the piece on his own without any help. To this day, he is so proud that it looks like a real frog. He just needed a little guidance to show him the way. Don’t we all?

  3. Sinnary Sam
    | Reply

    Thanks for sharing this. I grew up and was for many years considered an “artist.” But, in my opinion, my artwork lacked creativity. I was great at sketching, painting and duplicating whatever was out there. But, couldn’t come up with new ideas on visual art. As I become more experienced in the work world, marketing and what “sells” I see that my creativity has shined in other aspects and my ability to comprehend visual art allows me to combine the two talents to work for the best final outcome. I hope others that read your posts understand that creativity can be learned or their talent may just be in another form that may not be visual.

  4. Callie
    | Reply

    I so enjoyed reading this article … “Be willing to experience the world from a perpetual state of new discovery” really jumped out at me, as I practice being open and allowing myself to go with the flow, just as if I were a toddler! It’s a wonderful experience with delights from so many unexpected sources :)

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