The Pillars Of Creativity

Many people have commented on the ingredients which make up creativity and the catalysts necessary for its generation. Others have argued that hard work can result in a creative product. But there seems to be no common prescription. Are there commonalities that make up the pillars of creativity?

Not that long ago day to day living wasn’t that great to contemplate or experience. Life was consumed by the instinct to survive, and the practicalities that involved i.e the managing of basics like food and water. At such times religion has flourished because those with faith are destined to experience an eternal and positive after life. And religion holds a central place in the history of creativity. Inspiration literally means ‘to breathe into’ and genius meant spirit. It was thought that creativity came from an external source, from a divinity. This is wholly ironic. Creativity is about thinking outside of the conventional but in its early history was dramatically limited by the confines of the church.

It is of note that most creative ideas, those we label as art and culture, belonged to the well fed and comfortable elite. Whether creativity was something treasured by the common man, is not widely known. But for the penniless artist, the likes of Van Gogh, their creativity was dismissed as the possession of the mad man.

Once the basics had been taken care of then, as Maslow had predicted, a hierarchy of other human needs came into being, and creativity was one of them. Creativity is unique and hard to define. It isn’t restricted to the world of art and culture but, in short, is the ability to transcend traditional ideas. However, like every thing, what is perceived as creative in one age, is not in another. Thus the perceived pillars of creativity, are not the same at any given time. From the inspiration of the god-head, through the impact of personal tragedies to the joyous moments of a good life: all of these things contribute to creativity. But none of them define it.

7 thoughts on “The Pillars Of Creativity

    1. Mostly from my reading of the british philosopher, A.C. Grayling, but it’s a massive topic.
      There’s an interesting article here:

  1. The begining of creativity is a trickey one. But I think there is a link to happiness which has always been there since day one. Humans need to feel like they have accomplished something in there day to feel forfilled. We can no longer feel a good sensation as hunter gatherers as we go to asda to buy our meet, we don’t skin the animal we peel back a packet lid.. So we have evolved and created new ways to feel like we acomplished something like art for excample where we can seen the reaction people have when the look at it…

    1. I’m not sure I agree completely with your conclusion regarding “creativity” as being somehow “modern”. Some of the most creative cave art goes back a good forty thousand years and so antedates the neolithic revolution by around twenty five thousand or so.

      Human creativity most likely began when early humans became capable of abstract thought. This was a major evolutionary transition. Given where it’s got us, its efficacy could be debated.

      It seems there’s a grey area that blurs the line between creativity and utility.

      Is using a “tool” for the first time to solve a problem being creative? There are a number of animals that are known to use sticks as tools for capturing prey that would otherwise be inaccessible to them.

      A highly trained musician can execute a brilliant piece of music flawlessly, but can s/he, by virtue of that training, compose something brilliant of their own?

      I don’t think one can be taught to be creative. Will a creative person given training in their choice of media be more creatively capable as a result or will the training dull their creative ability?

      I think the bottom line is simply that creativity is a very subjective concept. It’s an excellent topic for contemplation and discussion that may never have any real conclusion.

  2. By the way jon, this is pts jai… Got the coments working on my blackberry phone!! But please excuse spelling errors.. I am a complete retard when it comes to spelling and I don’t have spell check on this.

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