Do you think of yourself as a creative person?

I’m curious. When someone says they self-identify as being creative, what do they mean? I think of myself as a creative person, I would use that label, or agree with it if someone asked me. I create all kinds of things and have creative thoughts. But, I was speaking with someone who I think is really creative and she hesitated to characterize herself in that way. She clarified that she considered herself “crafty”, but not creative. She thought the term “creative” applies mainly to artists.

That got me wondering, is the word creative only applicable to someone who has a certain set of skills? Do you have to be paid or commissioned for your efforts? Are some pursuits not serious or special enough to be considered creative? Is knitting less creative than painting?

I was reading a comment online from a woman in Scandinavia who said that you had to earn the right to call yourself creative. Since she had completed her schooling, (in photography), she was now “allowed” to use the term creative to describe herself, but she only did that in her professional work. Do people commonly have such limiting beliefs about the concept of creativity?

There have been many articles written which detail lists of common characteristics among creative people. While these are interesting reads, these traits are not unique to creative people alone. In fact, many smart people have these abilities. So maybe we are all creative, if we have attained a certain level of success? But there were so many highly creative artists who didn’t achieve any notoriety until after they died.

If we think back to childhood, everyone was creative. Children are creative beings. As a parent, I had the wonderful opportunity to relive that as I watched, played and created with my kids. And now I can see what happens to all that innate creativity. It gets schooled out. My children want to get rid of the lego, put away all those art supplies, cast off all those projects which once filled them with hours of joy.

Coloring

I am not worried, they will come back to it, as I did. Hopefully it doesn’t take them as long as it took me.

This is the first, in a series of 10 questions about creativity. If you are interested in my survey, please follow this link. I would love to hear your thoughts, here or there.

7 thoughts on “Do you think of yourself as a creative person?

  1. How interesting that creative is a level to achieve for some people, I always considered all people where creative, we are the only species with such a variety of creative ideas and solutions. You can even practice thinking more creatively just by trying to look at things like a kid. I’m with you; the word creative is for everyone.

  2. downrightme says:

    I also think that being creative is not bound to a level of skills. Anyone can be creative, it does not have to be perfect. But I think being creative means to create something new not just copy an idea. Be inspired by a person, a technique, a pattern but give it a personal touch, make it somewhat different or even create something totally unique.

    • Sometimes when I am knitting or cooking, I don’t mean to be creative….but I take a turn somewhere and my version looks different from the reference photos. Sometimes I am discouraged by this, but then again, I’m not a machine, I am a creative being.
      Cheers,
      -CW

  3. Well, I must disagree with my fellow Scandinavian. I too think creativity is something innate in us all, but as with everything else we have our different flavours, so to speak. Some have more ability, but that doesn’t mean the rest aren’t creative. To me, being creative just means that you are a person who creates. You can create a meal, a work of art, a nice garden, your clothes, a more healthy body, great relationships, a car you love… The list is rather endless, is it not?

  4. Dictionaries define creative as: use of the imagination or original ideas to create something. Steve Jobs said, “Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something”.

    These perspectives say, to me, that anyone can be creative in any endeavor! Creativity isn’t the exclusive domain of artists. Your dad is building a cover for the air-con and generator. He started with a pencil sketch and has come up with several changes to the original plan as he works through the actual construction. I’d say that is creativity!

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