Arguably, anything you see, feel, hear, smell or taste, or experience in any other way, no-matter how pleasing or displeasing, had, at its start, a creative individual with a vision, who made it happen.
Part 1: But what is creativity?
Creativity is difficult to define. Creativity is imperceptible and unfathomable but has qualities that engage and delight, shock and surprise, refresh and invigorate. Creativity includes: designing, building, writing, composing, cooking, inventing, sculpting, carving, painting and more besides. Creativity demonstrates balance, harmony, focus, revelation, style, taste, beauty, expression and even humour. Creativity involves high standards, high quality and attention to detail. But you cannot define it absolutely. To break it down into its component parts would be to destroy it.
Hallmarks of creativity
Creativity may start with a vision or a dream or a great idea for something. It is a Eureka moment, a download from God, into your head and heart. It is exciting and energising and, if allowed, develops fast. At this point, creative individuals may feel compelled, regardless of the time of day, to start creating.
In 1741, George Frideric Handel composed his oratorio, Messiah in about four weeks. Anyone who has ever heard, sang or played in this magnificent work, with its fifty-three songs, knows that this was an astonishing feat of creativity.
Creativity is usually innovative and inventive. It is possible several people have similar visions, ideas or thoughts, but whatever is created – it will be new and likely not seen, heard or experienced before. Some creativity might be in the form of an improvement, a repair or repurposing, but it is still inventive.
Creativity usually involves high standards of execution, high quality materials and a need for perfection. Even if the starting materials or ingredients are ordinary or junk, the results will be extraordinary. The concept that a new creation is of a moderate standard or low quality, is faulty, dirty, broken, crude or coarse, doesn’t exist. This means, almost inevitably, that creativity needs time and money.
In addition to invention, creative people often possess extraordinary style or taste and they embue and impart those qualities into their creations. Even creations that are deemed of bad taste will be artfully developed. Think of creative clothes, foods, gardens, interiors and poetry. These creations did not arise from bad style or taste.
To ask a creative person to explain how they dreamed up their creative vision or, worse, how they will deliver their invention, is pointless and unkind. Creatives won’t be able to explain the thought process or the pathway because it cannot be defined. But it is there, inside the creative person, waiting to be brought to life.
So, if creativity sounds too much like hard work, too complex and bizarre, but you are still curious, you might enjoy reading more about the creatives themselves. Those wild and crazy people that bring creativity into our lives. Please watch this space.
Page last updated on 1 February 2021