What is Creativity?

If you ask me for the answer to what is creativity I will tell you straight up – making stuff up. Likely you were looking for a more learned and technical answer so I searched for one- that satisfied me. It was a bit of a long journey but I think I found my way.

A lot of experts go into a long requiem to define creativity by analyzing it in different parts or sections. Is it actually physically doing something? Is it just imagining something? Is it an ability? Can there be one without the other? What all affects creativity and what exactly do we do when we are being creative?

None of those truly addressed the question and personally I found their rendering of it a little deep.

What is creativity shouldn’t have a complicated answer. In fact, in order to be useful the answer should be simple and straightforward. If we strip away all the mysticism and technical jargon usually used in answering what creativity is we can lay it bare and open, a state that lends itself to understanding and ultimately application.

When you take a glance at a dictionary you will find creativity is a noun meaning ‘the quality of being creative’.

That sounds a bit like hedging so I looked up quality: ‘An essential and distinguishing attribute of something or someone’. Essential, like if you don’t have it you can’t do it, and no matter what you’re not likely to get it. That pretty much goes against everything I’ve ever learned about anything, and I don’t like it.

I looked up creative, ‘marked by the ability or power to create.’ Marked, as in singled out, I didn’t much care for that definition either. I believe it is markedly irrelevant to answering the question and shouldn’t be included.

Let’s keep going-

‘The ability to create’. So really creativity should be cre-activity, because if it means to create something in this sense, it has to be concrete. I can make an omelet and I’m no more using my creativity than the hen did laying the eggs, but I’ve certainly created something, my lunch to be exact.

I still didn’t find an answer to what is creativity that I liked.

I checked for create: pretty straight forward here- to bring into existence. That brought me back to my omelet and thinking perhaps I was in the wrong mindset to be using my creativity in the first place.

I dug into the definition a bit further and found: ‘to produce through imaginative skill’. There was a definition I could begin to relate to. Produce: to yield something. With your imagination, who can disagree with that part?

Just making something or thinking something doesn’t fill in the whole question of what exactly creativity is. Not to the meaning that I give it. You can copy another person’s work and not use one iota of creativity to do it and something fantastic looking can still result, you have created.

In my way of thinking the definition of creativity needs to go up one level.

The one thing missing from all the answers that I have found on the net or off to what is creativity-is you. And that is the part I was looking for the most. Anything that involves creativity is made by an individual. It is a part of that person that they are willing to share with others by bringing what they imagined out into the open. Your personality and individualism, your you-ism is what makes creativity.

What is creativity but a tiny piece of you that you are willing to share with the rest of the world?

So my answer is “Creating something that you have allowed to be infused with your personality so it becomes a unique expression of yourself in whatever form you have chosen to use.” That is the answer that satisfies me, and that is the one I’m passing on to you.

If you’d like the simple version bare and uncomplicated:

What is creativity? Making stuff up unique to you.