Creativity: An Opinion Piece
“We’re all creative”
You’ve probably heard that a million times, especially within the past decade. Trust me, I’m a Gen Z kid with overly supportive parents, I know. Now, before you make any assumptions, know that I’m not about to launch into some snarky tirade against creativity. Quite to the contrary, I love creativity and the tremendous value it brings the world. All I’m proposing is that what constitutes creativity can be complicated.
On one hand, we’re all individuals with our own unique differences and perspectives to offer the world. No disagreement there. On the other hand, however, I would not deem everyone in the world“creative”. To get you on my side, here’s a bit about me.
I’ve always been a self-proclaimed “chaotic creative”. In other words, a creative without a singular focus, constantly visualizing and conceptualizing new ideas spanning a wide range of mediums. These ideas have ranged from songs and bizarre movie plots to business pitches, like acai bowl places that sell alcoholic products (just wait, it’ll be the next craze). Point is, I’m ALWAYS thinking of “creative stuff”, even if I don’t necessarily have the means to accomplish or manifest them yet.
Naturally, you’re probably wondering:
“Why does that matter? Great, you’re creative. Congrats. We’re all creative.”
Before you get “salty”, as the kids are saying nowadays, understand there are some necessary distinctions that need to be made here.
Being a creative is different than simply approaching a particular situation creatively. Everyone will have to come up with creative solutions at some point in life to survive. Those with no artistic inclination will still have to exercise creativity when approaching a difficult project. That ability to problem solve and adapt is necessary and the basis for what allows us as humans to survive and thrive.
Conversely, those who make a living as artists or pursue creative endeavors to a more frequent extent are traditionally deemed creatives. I know, I know…
There’s a lot of ambiguity here.
“What activities and hobbies are creative and which aren’t?”
“How often do you have to pursue said activities to be considered a creative? What does ‘traditionally’ mean? You shouldn’t care what people think… yada yada yada..”
There are no standardized answers to those questions. Vlad the Impaler LOVED killing people in creative ways. Would he be considered a creative?
Let’s not get overly meta here.
Let’s simplify things and say a creative endeavor or job is:
- Something that revolves around creating something original, derived from imagination or (physically or conceptually)
- Reinventing something or recycling old innovation to create a new innovation (s)
- Certainly does not involve hurting or killing anyone
I’d argue the majority of people follow their creative whims in that “to some extent” range. There are no doubt accountants who also shred on their vintage 68' Strats and Silicon Valley coders who write Japanese love poetry. The rest of mankind is either obsessed with the creative pursuit or can care less.
Then again, what do I know?