Where Does Creativity Originate?

Creativity is a messy process, and not just in getting your hands dirty. Photo by Jennifer Rensel (Flickr: Let's paint!) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.


John McCreery discusses a recent topic claiming that scientists having interests in arts and crafts outside of work makes them more creative in his article, Creativity, what is it? In culture industries it is well known that creativity lies in finding new combinations of materials from different sources, but the focus here is on what makes scientists more creative. McCreery argues that scientists still have to have some innate creativity and that doing arts and crafts doesn’t simply make them creative. There is a certain neatness to arts and crafts that only certain people have.  The creator’s medium limits what he or she can create. McCreery also argues that creativity is best achieved in groups. Creators tend to work in teams where a large range of skills come together. All people from a group need to voice their own opinions and argue with each other to produce a result that none of them could do individually. The art of working together is finding the balance that maximizes everyone’s productibility while keeping the focus on your original goal. In the advertising industry this goal is often set by the client who has a business idea in mind that he or she needs others to produce.

McCreery’s argument is very similar to the idea of nature vs. nurture. I think his overall argument is that although some individuals might be born with creativity, you can still work to achieve it. The idea that doing arts and crafts make you more creative is a bit of a stretch because you would have already had some creativeness there to be doing them.