What does creativity mean to you?
Updated: Feb 8, 2022
Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild (946-3), 2016. © Gerhard Richter 2016
It's important to make a distinction between a couple things when talking about creativity. In our culture, creativity is largely associated with aesthetics and artistic work. And that is certainly one aspect of creativity. But this view discounts a huge proportion of the creative impulse and urge in the human experience.
People are creative everyday everywhere, and in countless ways.
The fact that any of us can hold a conversation, choosing our words, picking from tens of thousands of vocabulary and applying them to express nuance and abstract thought implies a level of creativity many of us simply take for granted. But doing so is dangerous because it obfuscates an important part of what makes us human.
The majority of people when asked would reply they are not creative, or do not think of themselves as such. However, we know from the above example and many more, that we use our right brains all the time.
In his book, The Master and his Emissary, Iain McGilchrist writes beautifully about how the left hemisphere apprehends reality, but the right comprehends it. In its comprehension, the right hemisphere employs a much more dexterous set of tools. (Dexter is Latin for right, I couldn't help it)
By exploring our own creativity, such as trying new things, experiencing different environments and feedback such as new music, reading, podcasts, etc, we can actively engage that creative part of our minds that constantly searches for new ways of seeing the world.
I go deeper into this inquiry in the latest podcast episode of the quotidian which you can find linked at the bottom of this page.