How to bring back creativity by thinking in the backward direction.
I asked my community to describe what creativity is not for them.
Some of the answers were really interesting.
Elisa Fontana said, “The mental closure, the retreating within oneself as if inside an impregnable fortress, impermeable to any external stimulus. The belief that we are already perfect as we are.“
While Anna Pistuddi Tuveri emphasized, “Repeating oneself with few variations without ever daring to risk evolving.“
Grazia Cantelmi was lapidary: “The severity. I mean the severity of thinking about oneself and others that does not give any kind of possibility and creativity … I would add pessimism as icing on the cake. Although for me pessimism is creative.“
Bettina Uda: “It is not creativity to see, acknowledge and delegate to others the possibility of living life with creativity.
In the sense that everyone’s life can be lived with creativity.
Not necessarily meaning creativity as the creation of an artistic artifact or a ‘work.
In short believing that ‘art is only of the other or outside of us.”
Michela Geri: ” Banality, clichés, a feeling and seeing the world according to established stereotypes.
Creativity is showing, seeing with other eyes.
Something that makes you think in a new way and say ah! there it is.“
Stefania Maggiulli Alfieri: “The inability or refusal to want to consider a problem from multiple aspects and angles. Pedagogically, creativity is the ability to give multiple answers to the same problem. Repetitiveness is definitely one of the penalizing aspects of creative thinking, the need for the judgment of others, to please, to bend to common taste, to conform. Refusing to leave the comfort zone to explore new places, being able to recover a playful spirit and the ability to suspend judgment by following stimuli and producing ideas. Misinformation is definitely another penalizing element. Very long speech.“
Luciana Ortu Puddu: “Copying something from others slavishly without any personal elaboration. It’s one thing to be inspired by a work, it’s another to replicate it without soul, imagination or personal flicker and to say that copying is creativity…if not even art.“
Delle Fiandre Iris Foliage: “It is not creativity to block one’s creative instincts for fear of others’ judgments.“
Eva Clesis: “A finish line. A finish line is a point, let’s say, in front of you, that is in the future. But to get there, you have to know where to go, you’re going to take a direction. And that’s where you are no longer creative, when you focus on the point and exclude the rest. To me a creative is someone who doesn’t start from A in the goal of getting to B.”
Prakash Joshi: “It is not creativity when your work lacks originality, innovation and imaginative expression. When your work involves repetitive or routine actions without introducing new concepts, projects or perspectives, it is not creativity.”
Crystaloak tree: “So to answer your new question, Not creativity: routine, reproductive, or habitual ideas, for me it’s getting stuck or having to repeat, so I tend to try not to approach my painting in the same way twice, unless it is a continuation of a piece“.
As I write I am getting more definitions from people about what is not creativity, so if you would like to write in the comments your opinion will be happy to accommodate everyone.
But let’s come to what for me is not creativity, after reading several articles and thinking about it.
These are just suggestions and reflections because I don’t think there is one satisfactory answer to such a complex question.
Creativity is not an individual’s degree of intelligence.
It is not a person’s talent and it is not the skill he or she possesses.
Creativity is not knowing how to do things better than another person.
It is not only making art but also doing science.
Creativity is not creating something that has to disturb or offend someone, or not only.
Creativity is not doing complicated things or complicating life and work.
Creativity is not doing simplistic or trivial things but often hard work.
However, not all complicated and/or heavy work is creative.
Creativity is not the absence of meaning but even a surplus of meaning cannot guarantee creativity.
Creativity does not work the same in every sphere. So not all fields can get results from creativity as in art, for example applied to entrepreneurship.
Creativity is not always chaos but can also be routine.
Creativity does not always lead to the implementation of fruitful ideas but can also remain in an area that cannot be implemented at a given time. Creativity therefore is not always concrete innovation but can remain theoretical until it can be used.
Creativity is not always useful.
It is not always a new way of doing things but can remain in the abstract realm of the new way of seeing things.
In creativity, new ideas are not enough if they are not applied in reality.
Creativity is not generating objects.
It is not producing millions of ideas disconnected from each other and left to chance.
Creativity is not focusing on details and leaving the totality of ideas alone.
Creativity is not just having ideas.
Creativity is not disorder or order.
It is not ordinariness.
Creativity is not looking different or feeling different. It is not just being different in the artistic or professional sphere.
Creativity is not just breaking rules. It is not just posing problems.
Creativity does not only belong to artists or eccentrics.
Creativity does not only belong to childhood or adulthood.
Creativity is not just generating useful ideas. It is not having a lightning-fast idea that just comes.
Creativity is not inspiration.
It does not come suddenly or slowly. It is not magic.
It is not quantifiable, it is not perfect.
It is not a gift at birth and it is not part of our genetic make-up like eye or skin color.
Creativity is not immutable. It is not just insecurity and doubt but it is not certainty.
Creativity is not easy but if it is difficult it may not even be creativity.
It is not attending every social event but it is not the prerogative of solitude.
Creativity is not just collaboration or sharing.
It is not measurable, it is not related to social class or money.
Creativity is not genius, it is not having a bad character or a good character.
It is not related to mental problems or unruliness.
Creativity is not about time and/or space. It is not (only) defeating stereotypes.
It is not turning off the TV and living on a mountain but neither is it watching videos and TV all day.
Creativity is not going on TV and becoming an influencer. It is not being famous or being powerful.
It is not being intellectual or scholarly but neither is it being ignorant.
Creativity is not being imaginative.
It is not having fun or being bored.
Creativity is not just problem solving and does not need technology.
It is not perfection. It is not imperfection.
It is not classifiable or quantifiable or predictable.
But what could it be in light of all these denials?
Creativity therefore is work, the connection of vertical thinking and lateral thinking, it is “a productive and concrete capacity, to be cultivated and increased, which connects imagination and reason… and allows one to think everything that does not exist” (Bruno Munari)
At this point let us ask the question, “What is not creativity?” To find endless other creative solutions.
Denial can be another way to be creative.
And if you want to learn more, continue reading HERE or even HERE.
Enjoy your creativity!
Do you want to read in italian? HERE