You don’t have to be ‘a creative’ to be creative

‘Oh I wish I could draw, I’m just not creative at all!'

‘I’d love to play music, but I’m just not very creative.'

‘Graphic design! That’s cool, but I could never do that- I don’t have creative bone in my body.'


If I had a dollar for every this I heard something along these lines, I’d be writing this from my private island in the Bahamas (A girl's gotta dream). 

Isn’t it interesting how we automatically associate being creative, with being ‘a creative’? That is, if we use don’t use stereotypically creative skills - like art, design, film, music, writing, drama, media, dance - in our day job or hobbies, that were not creative. I think that concept is such a shame because I don’t think it could be further from the truth.


Creativity is defined as "The use of imagination or original ideas to create something; inventiveness."

Another extension of the definition is creativity being “The process of having original ideas that have value."


No one mentioned a paintbrush. Or a guitar.

Ideas, on the other hand, are quite the centrepiece.


Artistic ability is not the same as creativity, and while artistic ability is a marvellous thing to have, creativity is fast becoming the crucial skill for developing our local and global communities into the future.

When you think about it, we really don’t know what the world will look like in 20, 30 or 50 years time, what problems we’ll be facing - but we still have to prepare for it. We have to use our imagination to envisage how things might turn out, and come up with ideas of value for this new world, we also have to be flexible and adaptable in what we invent, because technology and society are changing every year - every day. An open creative mind is vital.




So here is the mighty good news, although you might need creativity to be artistic, you don’t need to be artistic to be creative. In understanding that we can consider this: A very switched on fellow by the name of Pablo Picasso once said that "Every child is born an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Which is very relevant, if we're born an artist, then we're certainly born creative! This isn't just Pablo's opinion, there are mountain ranges worth of research to say that children are inherently highly creative, but that over years (often thanks to rigid education systems) their connection to their creative abilities fades. But a faded connection is not a destroyed connection: All we need to do is recognise and encourage creative thought in our day-to-day lives for that bond to strengthen, and flourish.


Creative thinkers create a different art form in their problem-solving skills and brilliant solutions. Anyone running their own small business has to get creative in order to get their name out there. A tech startup building the next world-changing app needs creativity in spades to find solutions to their first iterations. Getting inside the heads of your ideal audience and understanding their needs requires imagination and an open mind. Considering how to generate a new approach for your NFP’s next campaign strategy needs disruptive thinking. I tell you what too, for all the parents out there conjuring up family dinners every night of the week brainstorming and problem solving is a must! 


The common thread here is answering the question ‘How else can we do this?’. This question is basically a flashing neon sign indicating that your creative talents are being called upon to do their thing, and goodness knows it’s a question that gets a lot of airtime in this ever changing world.


Answering the question ‘How else can we do this?’ is basically a flashing neon sign indicating that your creative talents are being called upon.



So isn’t this great news? You really are a creative! You can now claim the title with glory and a fist bump. Aw yeah.

Seriously, though, it’s important you see that this as true, because we need you. More importantly, though, we need everyone to realise that they are like you, like me - we are all creative. We all have our own spin on thinking originally, differently and inventively and it shows up in a variety of ways shapes and forms, but it’s all vital. Vital because we can’t begin to know what life will look like in the decades ahead, the changes that will occur, we can’t know these things - so we’ll have to imagine it, with all the creativity we can muster.