Everyone Is Creative; even if they aren’t artistic.
“In the beginning, God created…”maybe that’s not your personal belief (it happens to be mine), but it is a good example of what I want to share with you about your nature as a creative being.
Because I am a full-time artist, designer, and entrepreneur, it is easy for people to look at me and say “he is creative.” This would be true, except for the fact that from my perspective; and that of the creation narrative, Everyone is Creative.
When I hear people tell me they are not creative, I understand what they mean. however, what they are really saying is this “I am not artistic.” This may be true, although I would say most people are amateur craftsmen or hobbyists at best. Not everyone is a Picasso or Michaelangelo. But everyone is creative. Let me give you an example of why I think this way.
“When someone says they are not creative, what they really mean is “I am not artistic.”
Take, for instance, an accountant. Recently I was meeting with mine, and he was sharing with me the many ways he could help me build my business by allocating money here and there and properly categorizing my expenditures so that I would save on taxes, increase my cashflow, and more. I would not have seen any of those possibilities had it not been for his vision, expertise, and perspective. I, for one, am grateful for his creativity. Cha-ching$
Creativity is not a skill set, it is a perspective. Each of us has a particular way we view the world. By design we are unique; scripture tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Couple that with our unique skill-sets, talents, and experiences and you have a recipe for innovation birthed in our imagination.
Earlier I referenced the creation narrative. The first five words of the bible are “In the beginning God created…” It goes on to say, “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Then it says God spoke… the word used here is “imagination.” God imagined, and there was light. He imagined, and the waters rolled back to reveal landmasses. He imagined living creatures of the air, on the land, and in the sea. He imagined the world into being, and it was good. Lastly, he imagined a world inhabited by men and women made in His image. He made them too, and it was good.
This narrative of creativity tells us that the intent of using our imagination is to make things that are good. It goes without saying that many have used their ingenuity to create things that are inherently evil and destructive. Maybe that wasn’t their intent, maybe what started off as good was perverted and ended up in the wrong hands or minds. Regardless of the intent creativity i and of itself is birthed in our imaginations as a source for bringing good into the world. Solving problems, moving our species forward, and providing beauty to behold.
Creativity can be seen as “Imaginative problem-solving.”
Ok, Sunday School lesson over. In light of all this, let me give you a new definition of creativity; I call it “Imaginative problem-solving.” It is the intersection where your skill-sets, experiences, and imagination meet the opportunities and challenges around you to bring good into the world.
There is a wonderful exchange that happens when we use our creative gifts to bring awareness to beauty, to injustice, to possibility, and ultimately Glory to God the gift-giver Himself. It is built in to the creative gift. Otto Rank speaks to this gift as a gift from God. But what of the results of the creative work? If the gifts are God-given then it makes sense that the return is a God-return.
You see everyone is creative. The multitude of artistic expressions, Painting, Sculpture, Music, Dance, and more, provide beauty and invite us into a deep appreciation of things. But creativity invites us into a stewardship of things. It provides us all an opportunity to use our unique perspectives and gifts to bring life and beauty to the world, and to be agents of change for good.
Let me hear from you:
- Do you consider yourself creative? If so, in what ways? If not, why?
- Creativity is a perspective, not a skillset. What unique vantage point do you possess?
- How can you contribute to the world around you using your unique creative expression?