Creativity is kind of a funny thing*. I had a choir director way back in the day say to my mom that anyone who can talk can sing. This isn’t true. My mother, bless her heart, can’t sing on pitch to save her life, try as she might. But while my mother can’t sing on pitch I can’t draw anything beyond stick figures despite the fact that my mom majored in studio art.** I also can’t compose music*** despite the fact that my dad majored in music composition. But what I can do (besides sing) is write. In spite of the fact that I shouldn’t be able to write as well as I do, I write quite a lot. For me, my writing is the only original creative outlet I have. I might not be able to write a piece of creative fiction, but I can sure as hell tell you about my day in an interesting way.****
What interests me about creativity is the way people define. Society almost automatically ascribes creativity to people who are some how involved in the performing or fine arts (and somewhere in there people who write books, poems, and short stories). The person who created the internet wasn’t creative, he was very skilled at his job and was quite possibly a genius. But not creative. The men who figured out DNA weren’t creative, nor was whoever actually invented the telephone.***** They were just really smart and very, very talented. Einstein has never been described as creative, just as a genius. And this divide intrigues me. Why can’t scientists or mathematicians be described as creative? Because let’s be honest, they are creative, very creative. Yes, artists are creative, but so are biologists and geologists.
So that’s my deal. I think anyone who expands human knowledge is creative and that creativity should not be limited to the fine and performing arts (and writers.) There will those who disagree (or think I’m making a really lame point.) But I stand by my idea because it means that the people who major in computer science and biology are equally creative as people who major in theatre or studio art. And I like that principle.
*I literally had this conversation in my Intro to Theatre class two weeks ago. Most of what you’ll read is based on that discussion.
**Therefore I should have natural skill at drawing things beyond stick figures.
***See previous footnote.
****But not today. Today was really boring.
*****I’ve watched way too many episodes of QI and therefore know too many random facts. I’m pretty sure Alexander Graham Bell didn’t actually invent the telephone though. Pretty sure.