02 December 2005

Creativity, expression

Think about creativity and you immediately think of artists and musicians, poets and writers, dancers and actors, designers and architects. Film-makers and photographers, even tribal craftsmen. Maybe people in advertising. On a long stretch, some scientists may also fit in (remember Archimedes?). What you won’t think of when you consider creativity is an accountant, a salesman, a secretary, a farmer or a housewife.

Why is that? Why do we rule out certain trades or professions in favour of others when we think of creativity? Is creativity restricted only to a few professions or a few types of people?

If creativity is a mental phenomenon based on mental and conceptual skills – if it’s about problem solving and innovating, about insight and imagination – then there shouldn’t be any specific boundaries to creativity and its applications. Anyone can be creative. After all, at any given moment, we all use a very small portion (reportedly only 10%) of our brains. So, what stops us from being creative?

Perhaps because, creativity has a lot to do with expression. As much thought as expression. And, not everyone is good at that. Expression requires courage and, therefore, has a great deal to do with the psychological profile of the creative person. Then, there’s the need for opportunity – or the creativity in context to something. Situations matter. So does culture and societal norms which may encourage creativity. And today, even technology. Hence, you find specific creative movements (Impressionism, rock music, film animation) in specific periods in history, in specific places of the world.

This apart, a creative person must also possess special faculties/skills in order to express himself/herself. Which takes us into the realm of communication.

No comments: