If I was a child, I would’ve probably stopped here, because there’s nothing else that needs to be said or explained. Simply observe playing children, things they come up with or convert to toys, look at their drawings, listen to their answers to various questions about life, nature, relationship. Often they think of some outstanding solutions to overcome many obstacles that come their way.

Creativity Traits

When I was reading Darren’s article on 9 Attitudes of Highly Creative People I couldn’t help but associate all those qualities in children: a high level of curiosity (apparently, curiosity may kill a cat, but not humans); problems are like magnets to them – they do all sorts of creative tricks to get something beyond their reach; they never hide their heads in the sand and are always motivated to be doing “something constructive”; their optimism in believing that most problems can be solved is contagious; their perseverance is applaudable; their imagination is something to be envy of; their crazy ideas, if not persecuted, often make their parents proud.

I would add two more attitudes to this list: they are at their best when experimenting and they perfected the rules of breaking rules.

At the end of that article Darren posed a question: “Is Creativity tied to Personality Type or Can it be Learned?”

Creativity cannot be learned, there is nothing to learn about, we’re all born with this ability to be creative. It starts as a survival’s instinct that becomes possible to control over time. Every child is creative, although one is more creative than the other. So it’s not that creativity can be learned but it must be fostered and nurtured.

Creativity Fifty

Often creativity is associated with art, music and literature, but it’s not limited to just those three areas, it’s an essential part in many other fields, like science and engineering, business and economics. Just check out these 50 creative people who made the 2006 Year list of Creativity Fifty (in PDF) in Creativity magazine, which includes people like Bono, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Steve Jobs, many art directors, designers and entertainment visionaries whose names perhaps are not as popular as their works (take for instance Ted Ward – the art director behind those insane Geico commercials, where first a lizard than a caveman tell us “ is so easy” )

Defining Creativity

So what is Creativity? How do You define it?
To me it’s a presence of mind when you don’t act like you know everything, but let the time to be in control, and your thoughts to wander, it’s when you start everything from scratch, don’t always play by the rules, not afraid to experiment and make mistakes. When that sixth sense of yours is awaken, turning the other five into obedient servants. It’s when you stop trying to impress others but surprising yourself.

Questioning Creativity

It’s rather a complex phenomenon. Many studies have been conducted to examine creativity from “the perspectives of behavioral psychology, social psychology, psychometrics, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, philosophy, history, economics, design research, business, and management”.

What I’d like to know is whether Creativity always implies Originality, or can something unoriginal still be considered creative? Is it true that an Innovation is always Creative, or something new doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s creative? What do you think? When are you most creative? Who are the most creative people?

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17 Insightful Bits in response to “Who Are The Most Creative People?”

  1. I think I’m creative when I’m learning something new. I have yet to discover any limitations, so my mind is off in wonderland dreaming of the possibilities. Right now I’m learning spanish (Estoy aprendiendo Español), so I am thinking of all the possibilities that learning this language can mean for me. I can visit Spain, Mexico, and other Latin American countries hopefully.

    So I think learning new things helps with creativity. Also, I think creativity breeds creativity. If a creative person comes up with something (say a program), it might trigger someone else’s creativity. Innovation breeds innovation, right?

  2. Vivien

    Buena suerte, Ronald.
    Sure you can soon visit Spain, Mexico, Latin American countries and perhaps hook up with some beautiful Carmen? ;-)
    I agree – creativity is contagious.

  3. A child will say anything, however embarassing, it is to an adult, but we are soon taught to repress what we were going to say for fear of embarassment, I think the same happens with creativity. As adults we tend to conform more and are less keen to experiment and take creative risks, its a shame. So whats the answer, how to we get it back? I am most creative when I am not actively thinking about a subject and my subconscious takes over.

  4. Vivien

    I wish I had an easy answer to how do we get our creativity back in its original form that’s present only in children and geniuses. I think one of the most creative people ever was Leonardo Da Vinci. I wish he had a chance to blog and tell us his secrets to staying creative all his life.

  5. Vivian- good article, with lots of perspective. I’ve always believed that the Mozarts of our day are in advertising. I like to watch the Superbowl just for the ads!

    I came form Isabella’s site.

    Nice to meet you,

  6. Vivien

    Hi David, welcome to InspirationBit (Thank you, Isabella :-)
    Most Superbowl ads are indeed worth watching, as well as few other commercials, but unfortunately not all of them. I actually worry sometimes about this new trend in commercials featuring common people, advertising a product, as very mean, greedy, dishonest and oh, so vain (e.g. some of the cereal ads, DQ, etc)

  7. I think I’m with Tara above (hi everyone) that letting the subconscious take over is very important. My most creative times are when I lie down, empty my head and then let my mind wander. Linked to this is that a little glass of wine often helps too… again it lowers the inhibitions, or repressed creativity that is in us all.

    As for the bigger question about originality, I suppose that could be a matter of semantics – I believe creativity can be expressed by putting two things together and making a third thing. 1 + 2 = 3. They are all numbers but ‘original’? Just my thoughts :-) I am currently listening to a lot of Mash-ups where two different songs are mixed together to make a third, and so I have been thinking… creative? original?

    great site btw, keep up inspiring us all

  8. Vivien

    Thanks for the answers and compliments, Darren.
    I guess, they should add another word to “In Vino Veritas” – “Creatus”, making it to ” Truth and Creativity in Wine” :-)

    So, does it mean that in your 1+2=3 creativity theory, “1″ stands for “creative”, “2″ for ordinary, and “3″ for original?

  9. nothing quite that ‘creative’ I’m afraid, merely that two things can make a third. I suppose I am wondering around the following. Take an original piece of music and an original piece of poetry, both independently created. If you then put the poetry to the music you have ‘created’ a third piece – does this count as original and creative? I’m just thinking out loud about your original post – it has really got me thinking. :-)

  10. Vivien

    You bring up a very interesting question. It is going to be rather hard to find a poem and an already existing musical composition and blend them perfectly together, so I would consider someone who’s able to do so, at least, imaginative, not sure though if it can be called as “creative”, although like you said – a third piece was indeed created. But can we really consider all creations to be “creative”? Usually, someone writes lyrics to an existing melody, or music to an existing poem – that’s creative.

    Charlie Chaplin wrote a beautiful piece of music, titled ‘Smile’. But then almost two decades later John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons wrote the lyrics to this song, which became very popular when Nat ‘King’ Cole sang it. Who was creative there and who wasn’t? Charlie Chaplin can’t even be questioned here – one of the most creative artists of our time. I would though still consider three others as creative people. Would you?

    However, I can’t say that Natalie Cole was bursting with creativity when she recorded ‘Unforgettable’ as a duo with her already deceased father, unless it was indeed her idea in the first place.

  11. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back! That’s always my retort when people get annoyed with me for being curious.

    “So it’s not that creativity can be learned but it must be fostered and nurtured.” Perfect! I like the way you said that.

    “It’s when you stop trying to impress others but surprising yourself.” Again, yes! And the way I define creativity is thus: exercising the right side of your brain to come up with a unique arrangement of lines, colors, shapes, etc. It doesn’t have to be something that no one has ever done before (but it definitely doesn’t involve copying people’s work). Practicing the arts is probably the easiest way to define creativity. Paint, doodle, sketch, just don’t judge. I suppose you can be creative with the left side, too, finding unique ways to solve complex problems with coding and such. But that tends to involve a lot of judging. Ugh! I never thought about defining creativity. It’s tough!

    Tara had it bang on, we repress our creativity because we’re scared of being ridiculed, wrong or embarrassed. Picasso says, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” I remember reading that he said he spent the whole first half of his life learning how to paint and draw like a professional and the last half learning how to do it like a kid.

  12. Vivien

    “Curiosity may have killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back!” – very clever!
    Lauren, would it be ok if I borrow your quote and use it in my replies? :-)

    Actually, it very much shows in Picasso’s works – his early works are very classical, but everyone remembers him because of his later works.

  13. Of course you can use that saying! I didn’t make it up, it’s something my mom always says. She definitely encourages my curiosity and creativity.

  14. i agree with what tara said too. as a designer, i have trained myself to listen to my own thoughts and to say what i want to, be it through words, actions or through my clothing. i don’t know whether that is being creative, but i certainly never ever suppress what i have to say or what i feel inside.

  15. Vivien

    When you say what you mean you are being bold and honest, when you do what you feel you’re being creative :-) Thanks for your input, Gilda.

  16. maddy

    I dunno…I think Bob Dylan was the most creative person who ever lived. If not overall, then at least in the music industry.

  17. Allow me to air my thoughts…

    Could our own level of experiences foster creativity or in it’s simplest form, “Visual stimulation?”

    How does Human Interaction play a role? Could that be the roadblock to “Creativeness?”

    Take your sight and your connection with people away — you are left with your own thoughts.

    Perhaps, without visual stimulation and the distraction of others — only then, can you let your mind exercise itself and grow.

    If it’s CREATIVITY that you strive for…I say spend as much time alone and let your imagination fill the void.

    Being creative is work. Start by removing the word, “limitation” and it’s meaning from your life.

    Through each idea you will draw new inspiration and before you know it — you will become what you desire.

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Hi, I'm Vivien. Thanks for visiting my Inspiration Bit. I often find myself scouring the internet looking for either answers to many questions I have or websites that inspire me, sites that I can learn from. On what topics you might ask — any topics that interest me, anything from web design to typography and art, from blogging to entrepreneurship, from programming to open source.
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When I'm not blogging, I design web sites, teach, play with my daughter and try to balance family, work, friends and a somewhat active social life on