On Creativity

Why It Matters Now More Than Ever, and Where to Find It

Photo by "My Life Through A Lens" on Unsplash

To be creative is quite literally the "use of the imagination or original ideas to create something," and in a time where many feel at a loss for both, creativity is needed more than ever. That isn't to say, however, that creativity is dead or dying; it has simply taken a backseat in a modern life that demands so much of each of us. We can't be blamed entirely; when it feels as if the weight of the world is on our shoulders, we tend to think logically rather than creatively, and strive to solve the problem alone. This is where we begin to go wrong.

Yet, creativity is not solely about the artist. The artist is an abstract term often used too literally; if you use your imagination or original ideas to create something, you are, in fact, an artist. Scientists and painters, mathematicians and poets and engineers and musicians all share the universal language of creativity in that their work is born from the imagination. Keats, one of the greatest romantic poets in history, once studied medicine—"Sure a poet is a sage; / A humanist, physician to all men." Beauty can be seen in every form if you only know where to look, and in many cases, look to the source, look to the artist and you will see it there. Could it be, then, that too much looking inward is causing blindness in many? Are we constructing our own creative blocks?

Perhaps. Either way, creativity is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with. It is the driving force of ancient and modern society; so why does the world seem so void of it right now? In a growing culture of individualism, we are losing our own creativity as we forget to appreciate others; as human beings we are designed to thrive upon one another, we co-exist and create to survive. Inspiration and creativity move the world forward, they are one in the same, and yet it seems that more and more we are forgetting that we all belong to a collective of artists, every single one of us. Collaboration is needed now more than ever, and not just between those of a similar mindset to our own. We must listen and try to understand if we hope to progress—and yes, that word again, stimulate our creativity.

The world is not void of this; all hope is not lost. Take violinist and neurobiologist Robert Gupta, for example—he set up Street Symphony, an organisation that uses music to reach out to the homeless of Los Angeles, particularly those with mental health issues, exploring the "role of the artist to heal and inspire." There are many more involved in Gupta's projects, but as I've already made a point about our tendency for individualism, I'll use it to my advantage here; he represents a cross-section of creativity, in which truly wonderful, truly human results are borne from the fusing of two seemingly opposing groups. And these results are healing, which, surely, we could all do with a little more of in the present day. We should take note of people like Gupta, people in our everyday lives and in our global sphere, on every level, be it professional or personal. Again, we must cross borders to progress creatively, and therefore progress as people.

In short, our differences unite us more than they divide us, and we should not be told differently. You do not have to be a painter to be creative and you do not have to be a scientist to inspire. You simply have to look to the other. 

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