I find it fascinating to ask people the same question (no, I’m not a repressed pollster), particularly in the realms of art and culture and spirituality. You never know what you’re going to turn up. We’re all looking at the same thing, aren’t we?, but we all keep on coming up with slightly different or wildly different answers. I recently asked Daniel A. Roberts his opinion on creativity. He had an interesting take on things and I daresay whoever you are, reading this, you have your own take on creativity.
Well, another adventurous soul has stepped up to the plate. Katie Stewart is an author who I have run into online at Goodreads and at the Kindleboards. Other than that, I don’t know her from Adam, but she’s a polite and courageous lady to tackle the whys and whats and hmms of creativity. Look, it’s one thing (and a fairly humdrum thing) for authors to be always nattering on about their books. It’s an entirely different thing for them to contemplate the bones that lie beneath.
Katie keeps a blog at Katiewstewart.com, and her books (which I have not read) are available on Amazon.
–Katie Stewart on Creativity–
Creativity. That’s the ‘something’ that artists and inventors have, but no one else does, isn’t it? That something that makes them different? Well, no, I don’t think it is. I think everyone has it, but more on that later.
Creativity is the ability to take reality and peel away common perceptions (and sometimes misconceptions) until a new perspective is found. It requires two things for it to happen: imagination and need. Imagination allows someone to change their point of view, to rethink what they experience. It allows them to go beyond what is and discover what might be. In other words it allows us to go beyond knowledge. No matter how much a person knows, without imagination they will never develop anything truly new.
Need in creativity is twofold. Firstly creativity stems from a need in society. Where there is a need, someone will look for an answer; someone will imagine a solution and find a way to make it real. On the other hand there is a need in the creator. How many ‘creative’ types become depressed? I believe that this often stems from a need to create which is stifled for some reason. It’s an instinct which, if ignored, skews perspective. But I’m not a psychologist, so don’t quote me on that.
I’m going to stick my neck out here and state that I believe in a Creator. I call him God. Others have different names, but I believe them all to be the same Creator being. The universe has to have been created somehow. It didn’t just happen without some creative force behind it. Otherwise we’d still be a sea of floating particles. I also believe, however, that this Creation is still in progress. Nothing in the Universe ever stays the same. The Creator is always creating and so there is change. That is why creativity is so important – because without it, there would be no change.
Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to jump on my hobby horse (one of them, anyway). When people talk of a creative work, such as a painting that they have seen, they quite blithely say that the artist ‘put himself’ into that piece. In the same way, I believe that everyone has a part of their Creator in them. So I believe that everyone is born with the ability to create. A child, twelve months old, sitting on the floor pushing a little red block and saying ‘vrmmm’ is creating. He’s gone beyond the parameters of the block and turned it into something else. All children do it. However, somewhere along the way, this ability to imagine beyond reality is drummed out of all but the most stubborn of them. ‘No, darling, use the brown crayon. You’ve never seen a blue dog, have you?’ ‘Stop banging on the piano, Fred, I’m trying to watch TV.’ ‘That’s not really a computer is it? It’s made of Lego.’
Schools have always been geared around teaching children facts that they can regurgitate at will. Fortunately, I think that technology is changing that. Knowledge is now available at the touch of a button, worldwide knowledge. It no longer needs to be stored in the head. Now children can be taught to create new possibilities, to manipulate all that knowledge and create change. Yes, gaining new knowledge (ie research) is still extremely important, and knowing which ‘knowledge’ is real is a skill that will have to be taught, but it’s how knowledge is used that will determine the future. I’m all for the IT Revolution.