There's no such thing as creative people and non-creative people. Yes, some of us have an obvious 'raw' talent, but the rest of us have the same potential for unlimited creativity as soon as we discover what our innate talent is.
When you work on something that you are attracted to, your natural creativity to design, problem-solve or manage can emerge regardless of whether it's what is traditionally regarded as a creative industry or not.
- Jyoti Morningstar, founder of WE'AR Clothing
Ah, but this can be the challenge of a lifetime, leaving you with the same old script, 'I'm just not very creative.' In this case we also need to change our idea of what 'creativity' and 'being creative' really mean.
The words 'artist' and 'creative' are widely used as nouns and imply someone in a specific artistic field.
They should be used more often as adverbs - to describe how you do something. That way more people would know that being artistic is not a rare gift or a profession, but - in more abstract terms - a lens through which we view the world that is available to everyone.
- Step 1: Find your passion.
- Step 2: Discover your innate talents.
- Step 3: Explore your creativity.
From the moment we're born, we're innately creative. It's a gift of our 'aliveness', a gift of our humanity:
- As a baby we twist and turn our body into so many different shapes; we are 'boundless natives' with our flexibility.
- At pre-school we attempt to fit round pegs into square holes, already demonstrating an organic, heart-centred rebellion.
- At school we are drawing and painting the world the way we feel it and see it: the sky is pink and the grass is orange.
Creativity does not need to be establishment-approved or have commercial value. (So what if your mum has a green head, or the cow is purple? If Matisse can paint Lydia Delectorskaya's face in blue and yellow, then so can you.)
It's a choice you make. We can 'choose' to foster the different elements of creativity within ourselves.
According to material compiled by Iowa State University, the elements of creativity can be generalised as cognitive, affective, personal, motivational, social and environmental, of which cognitive and affective are considered most important.
- Basic knowledge (general and field-specific).
- Perceptiveness (how you see it).
- Originality (i.e., 'What new questions can I ask?' 'What can I invent?').
- Attraction to complexity (i.e., excitement about the problem and the different ways to solve it: 'How can I innovate?').
- Open-mindedness (including persistence).
- Awareness of creativity itself ('How can I approach this creatively?').
Affective elements include:
- Curiosity (who, what, when, where, how).
- Humour (enjoyment and playfulness).
- Risk-taking (leaning into your edge by stepping out of your comfort zone).
- Independence ('What can I do that no one else has done?' 'What would happen if I did the opposite?').
Creativity demonstrates itself naturally when we're doing something we love, or when we're passionate about solving a problem or overcoming a challenge. Love and passion are the key ingredients of your creative potential.
Love + passion = creative genius
When we try to squeeze ourselves into a square hole (like a job we hate), our creativity may seem to disappear. In reality it's just dormant; our creative self is bored and indifferent about the task at hand. Science supports this view: when we perform a task our prefontal cortex - also known as the 'thinking cortex' - is activated, and actually inhibits creativity.
Scientists have found that being absorbed in an activity quietens the 'thinking cortex', so our creativity is naturally awake. If we're not harassed by task-oriented details, but rather lost in the moment of love, we can embrace our rightful capacity for original, reckless dot-connecting.
Love and passion take us beyond our thinking. Do something you love and you'll notice the attention, stillness and space the experience creates. That's what accessing your creative space feels like.
Don't get bogged down in the details of the how, get excited by the now real present moment opportunity to be a leading edge creator, to take a big enough risk to merit exponential returns.
- Jenny Sauer Klein, creator of AcroYoga
Identify what you love doing and your true artistic and creative potential will reveal itself.
Being a leading-edge creator occurs in the moment of surrender: allow your creative experience to unfold as you do something you love.
Creativity is innate. Whether you're a bike mechanic, an accountant, a dancer, or a writer, you are an artist.