The most powerful expressions of creativity are the ones that effectively communicate to audiences outside ourselves, and our ability to collaborate and create with others is what sets us apart from other species in a world that’s constantly in a state of change. But what does that mean? And what is the root of the nature of creativity?
The origins, meanings and execution of creativity is something that’s been hotly debated since the dawn of time. The only thing that seems certain is the concept of creativity has evolved alongside humankind as we’ve continued to grow as beings. The ancient Greeks had their own exploration into what it means to be creative. Through the Renaissance, creativity even became something of a philosophical process. In today’s society, we temper creativity and creative expression with intellectual, physiological and sometimes spiritual properties.
Creativity wasn’t actually named and recognized as a concept until 1926, when English philosopher Alfred North Whitehead finally denominated it as such. Even so, questions still remained. Creativity was – and is – emotional and impassioned, yet deeply cerebral and impossible to compartmentalize. Is it inherited? Is it a state of mind, or is it a process? Perhaps, most likely, it’s a careful and precise combination of each of these traits.
Despite our constant and deepening relationship with creativity, the ability to effectively define it and discern its origins remains elusive. As is often the case when we encounter something that defies description, we’ve begun to define creativity as something akin to divine communication – a spiritual channeling from a source that drives the planet forward, and teaches us an expanded form of self-expression.
However, Dr. Charles Limb disagrees with this notion. An MD, professor and Chief of Otology/Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery at the University of California in San Francisco, Dr. Limb is one of many researchers eagerly pursuing the definition behind the concept of creativity. His findings suggest creativity isn’t a whimsical notion – in fact, he believes that the more creativity is practiced, the more prolific each proceeding creative endeavor becomes. So it’s not so much that creativity is a mythical communication as it is a muscle you must exercise, or a habit meant to be cultivated.
Dr. Limb is both a musician and surgeon, so his insight into creativity comes from a balanced space of understanding the neurological aspect behind creativity, as well as the mystical mindset that seems to be a hallmark of one’s creative nature. If you’re so inclined, we recommend watching Dr. Limb’s TED Talk – called “Building the Musical Muscle” – for further information on his research and how it correlates with the nature of creativity.
But getting back to our point: there are very real parallels between outside-the-box creative ingenuity and the disciplined process needed to turn ideas and possibilities into something tangible. We believe there’s a formula for creative success – and the key ingredients are time, patience and hard work.
If you had the ability to ask any one of history’s notable creatives how they achieved and accomplished their most decorated accolades, they’d likely tell you that creativity is part beast, part journey. It can be rigorous and time consuming, gut-wrenchingly painful, and at times, insanity-inducing madness. But in the end, it produces results – and it’s the results that matter.
French chemist Louis Pasteur famously stated, “Chance favors the prepared mind.” To disseminate further, that means talent, honed skill and thoughtful research overlap and funnel directly into imaginative leaps and bounds, effectively separating creativity from any other discipline. Mozart also proclaimed that hard work was the most central component to his creative process. All inherent talent aside, the act of creation is an arduous and often lengthy endeavor. The one thing it decidedly is not? Magic.
There’s still so much we need to understand about creativity and how it works. But as we continue to research and gain knowledge of our creative minds, it’s important to remain focused on the ultimate goal of being a creative: translating creativity into ideas, ideas into actions, and actions into final products that are groundbreaking and game-changing. It’s this philosophy and approach that drives us at STARMEN, where we continue to learn from and work with our creative minds to their utmost capabilities, and consistently redefine what it means to us to be creative.
Creativity doesn’t sleep. Neither do we. Whether mystical or practical, grounded or ethereal, we’ll continue to explore creativity and its inherent nature in every aspect of what we do. After all, isn’t that what creativity is all about?