Am I a creative person?
I am a photographer, but am I a creative person?
Throughout photography school, my answer was often no. I would look around at my peers and see a whole lot of right-brained struggling artists trying to find their place in the world as they attempt to communicate their emotions visually in what seemed like no rhyme or reason. This, I thought, was what it meant to be a creative person. I would then look at myself and see only my a-type personality rationalizing every move with thorough plans for well thought ideas. I was a thinker, not a creative.
At the time, I thought right-brain meant creative and left-brain meant not. I thought only those who are artistically talented could be creative, while one of my favourite parts of photography is the science behind it all. I believed that the fact that I didn't cry out in horror when my prof would bring up simple math equations to explain a physical concept was an indicator that I was not a creative person. I thought scattered ideas lead to creativity and order lead away. There was a stereotype of what a creative art student was meant to look like and I did not see myself in it. I thought that the - what I considered to be - irrational decisions of others resulted in creativity, while my need for logic prevented it. But this perception was illogical in itself.
Let's look at the definition of creativity.
creativity |ˌkrē-āˈtivitē| noun: the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.
It says nothing in that definition about being a chronic procrastinator or doing your best work at 3 am. It doesn't mention anything about being emotionally unstable or having a hate out for "the man". Nowhere is it suggested that creativity comes only from being lost in life and misunderstood by society. It doesn't even mention the need to be gifted with a steady painting hand or an exceptional ear for music. It speaks only of using your ideas and imagination, usually to produce something which can sometimes be considered artistic.
When you look at that definition, I think we would classify a lot more people as creative.
People like your daughter's grade school teacher who is constantly finding new ways to keep education engaging for her students. People like your goofy uncle who always has a witty reply. Or the IT guy at work who figured out the best place to put the routers to give you optimal wifi, even in the bathroom. Or maybe even people like you.
Because you see, creativity is not limited to artistic talent.
We all have imaginations and we all have ideas. We all have talents which make us unique. And we all have the ability to use our imagination to conceive ideas which our talents can then turn into a reality. We are all creative people.
What will you create today?