Oscar Wilde opined in his 1889 essay titled "The Decay of Lying" that "Life imitates art more than art imitates life." But is art the only or even the major expression of creativity?
I don't think so. My husband claims to be devoid of creativity; however, I beg to differ. He can take what I describe and manufacture it. To me, that's not just skill, that's creativity in application.
Creativity comes in wit: the person who thinks fast on his feet and always has a pertinent and witty comeback. I envy that kind of creativity, if only because I'm the sort who must mull things over to maybe find that clever retort. Comedians like Bill Engvall, John Pinette, and Gabriel Iglesias demonstrate comedic creativity based on their lives and what they observe: art imitating life.
Say what you will about Mark Zuckerberg, he demonstrated impressive creativity when he developed Facebook. Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and others turned their creative efforts toward computer programming to spark the digital environment in which we live, work, and find entertainment.
Have you watched Master Chef? Despite Gordon Ramsay's profane lambasting of cooks who don't measure up to his exacting standards, the creativity displayed by those same cooks when presented with often unusual ingredients and always unreasonable demands astounds me. (By the way, I stopped watching anything featuring Ramsay years ago.)
I believe that creativity is a manifestation of the divine spark, that gift from God which elevates humanity above the rest of the animal kingdom and inspires us to seek, investigate, explore, ponder, and create. That eternal search for something sublime, for answers, and for knowledge marks us as inspired creatures.
Much of what's considered creative does not appeal to me; however, that does not negate the creativity of the person who produced the work. I can admire the creative effort, even if I do not like the results.
Books for businessmen purport to teach creativity. I don't think it can be taught, although I think that people can learn to tap into their own stores of creativity. Children are naturally creative; they don't need to be taught. Societal expectations and judgment often stifle creativity rather than direct it. The songs "Roses are Red" by Harry Chapin and "The Logical Song" by Supertramp illustrate that. Value engineers claim to prize "unfettered" creativity, but they most often direct their efforts to cost cutting, which I don't consider creative.
Creativity often fails in execution. Craftsmanship plays a critical and integral part of the expression of creativity. Don't believe me? Just go to a music recital filled with beginning musicians or an art showing by people who an barely wield a charcoal pencil. It's excruciating, but we all smile and clap, offering encouragement to budding musicians and artists who exhibit little skill because they must learn proper use of the medium and by which they express their creativity. Mastery of a skill gives rise to craftsmanship which creativity then elevates to art.
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