What is creativity to you? And how do we evaluate an individual’s capability of creativity? Dr May defined creativity as, “Courage to Create: Creativity is the process of bringing something new into being.” It is a factor which has a place among the list of requirements for me as I browse career options. Though creativity may not seem difficulty theoretically. But practically, people find it hard to embrace new ways of thinking as we have been told what's the world looks like and how should we behave mightily in society in our early years.
As we look back to the history of art, we will always find new things. Things that are not appreciated or welcomed when they first sprout. Connoisseurs and critics spurned Impressionists when they first held their exhibition in Paris in 1874. The most significant artists of Expressionism: Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gaugin. None of them, known by the connoisseurs and critics at that time. As they search for the meanings of art with their own eyes. How can new things sprout under the oblivion?
However, we should not blame the connoisseurs or critics for not being open enough to new art forms. They are just the representatives of the majority. At least nowadays, companies are aware of creativity, and they put it as a significant capability of their future talents, even though not too many people can appreciate it.
Mont Sainte-Victoire 丨Paul Cézanne 丨1895 丨Source: WIKIART
An interviewer once asked me “How creative are you?"
Well, how tall is a tree? It is uneasy to quantify person's ability to think creatively. We assume that people with design or fine art backgrounds would be more creative than their peers. That is a very conservative guess. It is logical to deduce that artistic individuals are more willing to think outside the box because putting imagination into reality is their everyday life.
Humans are innate to see the world with a fresh eye. Creativity is not something that belongs to artists exclusively. It is the courage to create and to gracefully fail. When we are kids, we never care about how other people would look at us if we fall. Creativity is with us all the time. Picture a child that is drawing freely on a blank paper, he may not remember the drawing, but he surely remembers the excitement of feeling like the greatest painter in the world.
As Dr May said, creativity requires thinking and action. Creative thinking does not work without taking action. So, build a prototype of your idea. For example, paint the ugliest or messiest painting you can paint. You are creative, and creativity will work perfectly by itself once you turn on the right mode.
We have been busy becoming successful and getting rewards more than we can count. Chasing the tides of the sea. One day, you’ll be tired, and you finally sit down on a beach. You watch the waves come and go and waves brushing by your feet. You may find that letting go of control allow you to see all the beauties you haven't paid enough attention to see in the past. But now, you may find a sprout of creativity somewhere closer than you know.
"The Story of Art" ------ E. H. Gombrich