Creativity is generally recognized as the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others.
To be creative, you need to be able to view things in new ways or from a different perspective. Among other things, you need to be able to generate new possibilities or new alternatives. Tests of creativity measure not only the number of alternatives that people can generate but the uniqueness of those alternatives. The ability to generate alternatives or to see things uniquely does not occur by change; it is linked to other, more fundamental qualities of thinking, such as flexibility, tolerance of ambiguity or unpredictability, and the enjoyment of things heretofore unknown. ~Human Motivation, 3rd ed., by Robert E. Franken
Hmmm…. ambiguity is an interesting word.
A lack of decisiveness or commitment resulting from a failure to make a choice between alternatives.
With that, I think I am on the verge of finding my inner pièce de résistance!
To me, it feels as if being creative is getting harder and harder because of the internet, and particularly because of Pinterest. My brain is getting clogged with other people’s colorways, layouts and ideas in general. But it is also becoming harder to pretend *you* thought that great idea up, when you see the same quilt over and over and over. Often with the exact same fabrics the originator used.
Still others think of creativity simply as re-arranging what came before, in new and unique ways.
How do you define creativity?
Do we need to reinvent to wheel to feel creative or just create our own, new version of what came before?
We don’t create in a vacuum, so of course we are influenced by everything we see and experience. It seems there are very few really new and innovative ideas out there. Most seem to be a rehash of someone else’s work.
A lot of designers and artists stay somewhat disconnected from the art world, and I think it’s because of exactly what you are saying. You want to come up with ideas that aren’t influenced by what others are creating. Some of the best art is great because it was something that at the time hadn’t been thought of yet. And on the other end of the spectrum some of the best art is in response to something (a political movement, a music movement…) Creative types are inspired by what they see everyday, and somewhere those little inspirations get catalogued in the back of our brain and maybe they don’t resurface until years later. I really agree with what you are preaching! People are leaning on the world wide web and using it as a crutch instead of stepping and being a brave artist – creating something new.
Smile, look at each day with fresh eyes. See what only you can see. We all look at the same things differently. If you worry about how the internet affects your art, turn it off, you might find it refreshing. Take a break from electronic devices. Go outside and walk in the woods, you will find inspiration. But, I enjoy your blog and would miss reading it.
I think trying to define creativity is a creative exercise in itself. But it can be as simple as adding nutmeg to steamed green beans and butter. I think that if we are constantly comparing, then we’re less likely to feel free to be creative. I think the internet has sparked more creativity in me than I would’ve been exposed to without it but it’s easy to get lost or to think of oneself or one’s ideas as “less than”. So I try not to do things exactly but it’s probably easier for me not having Pinterest. 🙂
Personally, I don’t think there are any new ideas left. But that does not mean that there are not creative people left. Putting a spin on something, making it your own, that’s creativity.
Think about it this way; using a pattern to make a skirt or a dress or a shirt or pants does not make you “less creative” right? You get to choose the fabrics, colors and perhaps make an alteration or two and you make it your own. Even if you choose the very same colors as shown on the pattern, you’ve still CREATED something that was not in existence before. And nobody says, “well, you used a pattern so you’re not creative.” Why shouldn’t that apply to cooking or quilt making or gardening? Just because you saw it somewhere else doesn’t mean you’re not creative. And why re-invent the wheel every time, anyway? I consider myself very creative, but hardly ever come up with a project from nothing. I almost always see something that inspires me and then make it my own.
I’ve been pondering this all week and this is about where I ended up, too, E. I do use sewing patterns and don’t think twice about it. I also use recipes out of cookbooks. Though I do create both on my own, at times, why do I question the line of creativity???
Thanks for your comments!
I’ve been thinking about since your post. I just posted my musings on the subject. Thanks for giving me something to think about.
I’m still pondering it myself!
For me lately, it is my reinterpretation of something I like, or see in the world. And I’m OK with that! Very rarely do I create from scratch (recipe or pattern). Everyone gets inspiration from somewhere – the only way to avoid it is to be a hermit! : )