What is creativity?

My paintings on the wall

Creativity is a major part of our lives – nothing we see around us could have been done without someone first creating it in their mind. The word itself comes from create and ability, which I think it’s beautifully accurate and to the point. Creativity is the power to think of something new, to see it behind closed eyelids, to see a way of execution, and to bring the idea to life.

What exactly does it mean to be creative?

Am I meant to be creative? What are creative outlets? How do I find inspiration? 

All very interesting questions that I will write about on this blog. 🙂  

Let’s try to figure out what does a creative person do? Maybe you thought of messy painters, cigar-smoking writers, who philosophize, or YouTubers that create and test machines from scratch? 

Creative people do all of the above. Creativity is such a broad ability, endless even. Doing anything new is being creative. Adding colors to a sketch is being creative as you summon the colors you see in your head onto paper. Cooking is creativity-driven the moment you leave the recipe behind. I am bringing something new into the world at this moment by writing this article. Journals, songs, Lego’s, woodwork, dance are some creative outlets. 

Two groups of creativity

I divide creativity into two groups – executive and contemplative. Executive creativity is when you have an idea and act on it, while contemplative creativity is the mental equivalent – when you observe, think of more and more ideas, then find someone to execute them. 

I’ll give you an example of both groups. Executive creativity is when a painter gets inspired to draw a woman, they ask someone to be their model and get to work. Contemplative creativity is when a consultant is brought in to help a firm with their marketing, the consultant gives ideas and delegates their execution to the hiring firm. 

This division means that every single one of us is creative even if you don’t realize it because your creative ways don’t fit the social standards and expectations. 

Sure, outside of consultancy, it’s more difficult for contemplative creativity to come to life and often, the idea-bringer is not given credit but does this mean we should stop thinking of ways to make our lives and that of others better? Activism movements are started by someone dreaming of a new reality, spreading their idea and finding others to execute it. 

And yes, executive creativity usually works on a much smaller scale – paintings, a wooden product, a song, etc. but does this mean that your work cannot change other people’s lives as well? Artists often help people they’ve never met overcome personal challenges and dark times. As an example, I’ve written about how a band got me through the darkest periods of my life, you can read the story here. 💎

In the end…

I believe that the limits of your own creative ability are something you can explore and accept. I also think this has a link to human design types, so if you’re interested – let me know, and I’ll write an article on it.

Which type of creativity you have? Do you accept its limitations?

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