Creativity is life itself. How you define it is a matter of personal choice but it should not be forgotten that we are ‘creating’ every moment of the day. Even as we sleep we dream and how wild are the pictures that they paint!
‘I may not know much about art but I know what I like’
We usually think of creativity in terms of art or writing but as defining art itself is so troublesome with so many variationsm it’s not so straightforward to qualify.
Painting can include modern art, impressionism, cubism, pop art for instance not to mention the different media you can use to create it. Water colour, oils, pencils, charcoal etc etc.
Then there’s pottery, metalwork, collage, sculpture and even items of livestock, sliced in two and dunked in formaldehyde. Unmade beds and piles of bricks have commanded high fees from galleries and collectors but is creativity really about money?
There is phrase that states that the true artist suffers for his art. This may be true of many but for someone such as Damien Hurst and his diamond encrusted skull, it makes you wonder whether he really has his eye on the bottom line of the balance sheet. An item with his name will fetch a huge sums even if it’s a used hankerchief.
‘But is it art’
Thinking laterally you could say learning is creative especially if it is being used to gain a qualification. You take the facts you are taught and you find a way of storing that knowledge so you can more simply recall it in exam or real life conditions. You may write notes in a certain way with colour and symbols or use a method of forming mind pictures to help you.
A traditional example would be to remember the fates of the wives of Henry VIII using a rhyme:
Divorced, Beheaded, Died
Divorced, Beheaded, Survived
It’s fun – unless you were one of Catherine Parr’s predecessors – and it frees you to explore the depths of your imagination.
The more mundane tasks of life are still creative however unlikely it may seem. Even the least artistic amongst us will still try and present a meal in a more attractive way before putting on the table. A plate of beans is more aesthetically pleasing if it sits nicely in the middle of the plate rather dripping over the side.
Taking time to set the table is also creative rather than shoving all the magazines and junk to one side just make room for a flat surface.
Creativity is an extension of our being. Being creative makes us feel good and that spreads to those around us as they appreciate the effort and care taken in whatever the project undertaken.
That aside, I guess the true meaning of creativity is making something that will last. Something that will survive us and that future generations will marvel and wonder at.
It is through creativity – in this case the written word – that we can live forever.