Teaching Creativity…

Posted: January 5, 2015 in Thoughts on art ministry and life
Tags: , , , , , , ,

creativityI recently told someone close to me about my goal to study creativity. This person is a young, forward thinking, immensely creative person and he came back at me with something that set me back a bit. “You really can’t teach creativity, can you?” I have to admit this was a tough one for me to answer. I have been creative from my earliest memories. I can’t exactly say I learned to be creative. It’s just sort of something I was born with. As you know, though, my passion is to help people and the churches they compose to be more creative. His question had me wondering if I am barking up the wrong tree. Are people born creative and is it something we can teach?

My conclusion is yes to both questions at least to some degree. First, I believe as children of the Creator, creativity is in us. It is a gift imparted to all people by God. Watch children in action and you will see this to be true. Further, when pressed almost everyone, even people most resistant to the idea that they are creative, can come up with at least one time when they solved a problem creatively. I believe what people really mean when they say they are not creative, is they are not artistic. I believe even this is untrue, but let’s start with creativity. I’m not sure one can be artistic without being creative, but I am sure that people can be creative without being artistic.

Picasso on Being and Remaining an Artist<Next can we teach people to be creative? This is a harder thing to decipher. If it is inborn, then maybe we can't teach them to be creative. However there is something I know beyond a doubt. Picasso's famous quote rings true. "All children are artists, the problem is to remain one as one grows up." Somewhere in late childhood and adolescence many people step away from their creative pursuits, until creativity appears to be the realm of children and a select few we anoint "artistic." The rest of the people we deem not gifted enough and tell them to "be realistic and/or practical" and push them toward the "safer path." Maybe it's not so much that we teach people to be creative, as it is that we help them to reclaim what is already in them. Maybe we're actually just helping them to change their way of thinking, to realize that creativity is not beyond them, but rather inside them waiting to be unleashed–a gift of God, given to be used to make the world a better place. This then is where I intend to begin.

What do you think?

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Comments
  1. Creativity doesn’t need to be trapped in the term of artists. Engineers still can solve a problem creatively too. God is The Lord of creativity who bless us with different skills to solve problems creatively. Writers are also considered artists who creatively express in words.

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  2. I think you said it best with this: “I believe as children of the Creator, creativity is in us. It is a gift imparted to all people by God.” I think what we do with that gift, and whether or not we develop it, is really the question. I also love what you said about being artistic: ” I’m not sure one can be artistic without being creative, but I am sure that people can be creative without being artistic.”

  3. Wendi says:

    Reblogged this on Art of Wendi C and commented:
    Great thoughts and something I hope to impart to my future classroom when I begin teaching. 🙂

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