I have been forming a theory. I think I am going to call it my Theory of Creativity. Einstein once said ““I am enough of the artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
I would go as far to say that Imagination is actually not just more important but it is essential to knowledge. Through our imagination, and intuition we form visions in our minds of possibilities, possibilities in art, possibilities in music, in philosophy, in science, in math, and in our entire understanding in every possble way of the world and universe around us. Naturally we seek to turn those visions into forms of reality. This whole process is called CREATIVITY.
So it hurts my heart when I hear anyone at any age say “I am just not very creative”. They might as well say “I am not very human.” or “I have the mental capacity of a rock.” And I wonder at what point did any human being decide to say of themselve that they are not creative. I believe it began not because of a lack of potential, but because of a lack of nuture. Their natural Imagination has not been nutured and valued and so they have come to believe that they are not capable of a essectial part of being a human being.
Creativity is more than the ability to draw a pretty picture or compose a peice of music. Its the ability to see a vision of something greater than you have and then turn that vision into a reality.
If you want my opinion about what is wrong with our education system it is that we try to teach our children to be knowledgeable without first teaching them how to nuture their imagination. But its like trying to teach a butterfly to fly while its still a catapillar. You might be able to teach it the concept of flight and how aero-dynamics and wing structure create lift, but unless it actually HAS wings… its only going to be able to crawl… not fly. Thats what knowledge is without imagination.
You can not be a butterfly without wings. You might have every encyclopedia in the world memorized but without the imagination and vision to make use of that knowledge, or the confidence and will to exercise that knowledge and focus it in a creative way then it will amout to nothing.
This is why the creative arts should be not just a side note in American education system. Art and music and drama and creative writing should not just be things that you might take a class in someday if your schedule permits. They should be lifelong pursuits. The creative arts nurture our imagination, and imagination leads to vision which leads to creation.
For instance, an art project teaches a person to first use their imagination to form a vision which they then turn into a visual reality. This artsistic experience floods over into every aspect of their life. They learn that they have the power to turn their visions into realities. Whatever they choose to do in life, the lessons they learn through the creative arts will help them have the confindence to believe that they can turn vision into reality, and being taught to complete an artistic objective disciplines us to complete objectives in life and work. Through the creative arts we learn that we can.
Does this mean that every person has to be a painter or musician of craftsperson of any kind? No, but it means that we should teach our children to utilize their imagination and generate creativity. The visual, musical, theatre and literary arts are only a few tools that we can use to do this.
There are other tools. Building blocks is one of the first that children learn to utilize. Putting together model cars and other figures then painting them and displaying them, these too are creative arts. Anything that requires the use of creative vision to result in a physical reality could be considered a creative art.
This is why it hurts so much to here someone say that they are not creative. It is a vicious lie that they have learn to tell themselves because they have not been taught the importance of nuturing their own imaginations.