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.
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.
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 “Geico.com is so easy” )
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.
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?