Creativity, Explained

Creativity 101, Uncategorized, Understanding Creativity

I should start this by saying that I needed to add a class.

I had to take another humanities course to get credit toward my journalism degree, and when “Creativity for the Non-Arts Major” popped up in the course catalog, I signed myself up with zero idea what I was signing up for, other than the fact that it had the words “Creativity” and “Non-Arts.” Sold.

What I didn’t know was that I’d inadvertently signed up for maybe exactly what I needed. Not for class credit, but for myself.

According to the textbook, Understanding Creativity, there are a whole lot of different ways to make sense of creativity. Everyone (and I mean everyone…Plato, Guilford, Jung, Gardner. Basically everyone who’s tried to figure out our brain) has tried to pinpoint exactly what creativity means, how we can measure it, where it comes from, and whether we all have it.

I think we do.

In fact, humans need creativity. Apparently it isn’t enough to be smart if you want to survive and reproduce, if you’re looking at this from an evolutionary standpoint. You can’t just have a high IQ. You have to be creative, too. You have to be able to come up with solutions, like how to make a weapon when you get attacked by some giant animal (that existed for cave people but not for us).

So the problem with all this? You lose your creativity as you get older. I blame society. No, really. This is something you can actually blame society for. As it turns out, we’re encouraged to follow what other people are doing from a young age– the example I found in the textbook is that a kid will draw a flower that looks like everyone else’s flower.

And now that I really think about it, it makes sense– for as long as I can remember, I’ve been watching others and constraining myself by doing what I see them doing. Maybe it’s time, for once, to do my own thing. So thank goodness I added this class!



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