What is Creativity?

When I was 12 our art teacher gave us a homework brief of “New Life”. That was all she said: “New Life”.creativity

I went home, my head fizzing with ideas and finally settled upon a black and white line drawing of an agonised man growing out of a tree, his limbs merging with the branches as he sprang forth.

I was pretty proud of it.

The teacher gave me a bollocking for “drawing something stupid”.

Obviously she and I differed on our definitions of creativity. For me it’s about breaking free of the general consensus of opinion, Smashing out of the hive mind that has been conditioned by banal TV programmes and the predictable one-dimensional opinions put forth in the popular media. For my teacher, well, who knows what her definition might have been.

cre·a·tiv·i·ty

[kree-ey-tiv-i-tee]

noun

1.

the state or quality of being creative.

2.

the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination: the need for creativity in modern industry; creativity in the performing arts.

3.

the process by which one utilizes creative ability: Extensive reading stimulated his creativity. 

At school our creativity is stymied by various rules and preconceptions of those who teach us. Children have massive imaginations which are constrained by what we can and cannot do and as adults we strive to recapture that creativity and throw off the shackles of what is deemed right and acceptable.

It is difficult.

Society and business require that its people ‘think outside the box’. So why do you stamp it out of us at such an early age?

My art teacher didn’t stop me. I’m still creating things that don’t conform; for me it’s the only way to be creative, to do something that hasn’t been done before, or to put a twist on something good to try and make it better, to turn it unexpectedly and surprise myself.

First it was art, then it was music. Now that I’m too old to be gigging up and down the country in a progressive political thrash-punk-jazz-opera band I’ve turned to writing again (a first love that another teacher attempted to crush out of me at an early age).

I love to be creative.

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