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.