What is Creativity?

January 18, 2012 § 8 Comments

Antique Illustration, Artist Unknown

Rhythm and rhyme, poetry, painting and piano. These things I got from my mother. Order, practicality, patience, deliberation and self-reliance ~ these came from my father.  Sometimes the blending has an excellent, really pleasing effect. Other times it’s conflicted, my free spirit feeling trapped inside its Virgo shell.

But however these traits play out on any given day, (perhaps depending on the star’s alignment), I can’t imagine life without a pen for words, a pencil or brush for pictures, without the ability to make music, or dance my own dance. Maybe it’s DNA, maybe it’s God-given. All I know is that it’s all just there. Demanding my attention, every day, at all hours.

So at some point in life, I accept and embrace the call, resign to the destiny that DNA or God (or both) bestowed. I know it’s not a hobby, a fancy of youth, a moment in the sun. This thing called creativity throbs with every pulse. I choose to honor it, even though I’m not so sure the choice is mine, and even though it would be so much tidier to work at something with obvious beginnings and ends. But such, it seems, is not my fate.

Of course, I have no corner on this thing called creativity. There are many of you out there, and you know exactly what I’m talking about!

There are, however, many of you out there who also live and breathe creativity and (I think) don’t know it. You think it requires the painting of a picture, the writing of a story, the composing of a song, the designing of a home or the sculpting of stone into an angel. I don’t believe that it does.

What about the teacher who gets through to an otherwise struggling student, by using an original approach? What about the doctor who discovers a unique treatment? What about the accountant who produces an efficient software program? What about the farmer who figures how to grow a tastier tomato or develops a new fertilizer? What about the pilot who dreams of a better aircraft? What about the engineer, like my father, who measured things with facts and figures, and invented industry-changing processes?

I think that “this thing called creativity” runs through all our veins ~ it just manifests in very different ways. (Thank goodness for that!) And whether or not it’s nurtured  ~ and whether or not, like a muscle, it is used and strengthened or becomes limp from neglect ~ simply makes it seem more real or not.

© Patricia Saxton


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§ 8 Responses to What is Creativity?

  • Debbie says:

    not sure if everyone knows you drew that picture……….. that is just amazing to me. really.


    • saxtonstudio says:

      It does look like something I might have drawn, but I did not! This is an antique print. Thanks for reminding me I need to put a caption there so it’s clear! (you can still be amazed if you want on other pieces though… 🙂 )


  • Debbie says:

    this is beautifully written, as usual. Daniel Pink, author of “A Whole New Mind” would love this I think. you certainly have the left brain and right brain strongly engaged simultaneously. me too. probably one of the reasons we love each other 🙂 xxoo


  • Melissa Guarino says:

    Lovely, Pat, and I agree. By the way, we have similar fathers!! And my mother is a child of whimsy!


  • kerenmulia says:

    I just stumbled upon this post… but I absolutely relate to what you are saying here. I write poetry, I paint, and I play a brass instrument for at least eight years. Usually I find myself being satisfied doing business or maths, and anything analytical. But there is this part of me that can’t seem to distant away from anything creative for long periods of time… Nonetheless, I find the way you write really short, simple, easy and enjoyable to read. 🙂



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