Where does Your Creativity Come From? - Jo-Ann Carson

Where does Your Creativity Come From?

Sunny skies? God? Satan? Or a blade of grass?

The first time I discovered finger paint I thought I was in heaven.
The stuff is wonderful. It’s gooey and fun and no matter which way my finger tips move across the paper, I’m successful. The multi-sensory image of playing with it at the age of five is my first memory of feeling creative. The wanton thrill of messing about with art had a visceral impact on me. I created color and texture, and best of all, I felt the picture was all mine. What delight.
Creativity. I didn’t have words for it back then, but I do now. It involves a wild abandonment of worldly constraints, a diving headlong into the abyss, a following of the heart and best of all, it involves the purest of joys. It’s intoxicating. I swear, if we nurtured more creativity in people, we would have fewer lost souls, and less alcoholism and drug use. There is no cleaner addiction. The act of creating enhances our humanity. It connects us. It heals us. Ultimately, it creates and re-creates us.
But where does it come from?  When I’m creating I honestly don’t care. But my rational mind can’t leave it there. I wonder.

“Most ancient cultures, including thinkers of Ancient Greece Ancient China, and Ancient India, lacked the concept of creativity, seeing art as a form of discovery and not creation .” Wikipedia

But as a former finger painter I know it’s not all imitation. It’s larger than that. Later mankind decided it involved divine intervention. After all something that feels that good had to come from above. Right?

In the Judaeo-Christian tradition, creativity was the sole province of God; humans were not considered to have the ability to create something new except as an expression of God’s work. A concept similar to that of Christianity existed in Greek culture, for instance, Muses were seen as mediating inspiration from the Gods. Romans and Greeks invoked the concept of an external creative “daemon” (Greek) or “genius” (Latin), linked to the sacred or the divine. However, none of these views are similar to the modern concept of creativity, and the individual was not seen as the cause of creation until the Renaissance. It was during the Renaissance that creativity was first seen, not as a conduit for the divine, but from the abilities of “great men“.” (Ibid)

So now we have more ideas to play with. I like to think of them as  a hand in a card game. The Joker card claims that creativity is imitating; the Queen of Spades claims muses whisper inspiration from ancient gods;  the Jack of Diamonds claims it’ all the work of daemons and geniuses acting as intermediaries between humans and the divine; and the Renaissance card, the King of Diamonds, claims that it comes from the abilities of gifted men.
Does it take the gods? Shall we dance naked at midnight to invoke the muses? Can only the gifted create? The answers aren’t satisfying.
I hang on to the Ace of Hearts and claim creativity comes  from the heart of man. The heart connected and perhaps indistinguishable at times from her world and her sense of the divine. Is that cheating? I don’t think so. I think creativity is larger and more complex than our any of our ancestors thought, perhaps larger than we are able to comprehend.
My two cents.
Where do you think your creativity comes from?

Photo Credit: School Paints and Painting
Reference: Wikipedia

0 Replies to “Where does Your Creativity Come From?”

  1. Interesting question… when I’m in a creative frame of mind, I can “sense” the prompt word dipping in and out of different areas of my brain, looking to make links… some areas may form stronger connections than others, based on everything that’s ever happened to me and my emotional response to them… so, for me, it takes a life to craft a moment

  2. I agree with you on the heart. I know people with and without belief systems (in god, gods, spirituality, etc.) that are all wonderfully creative.
    I believe the desire that drives us in so many different ways—to solve the mysteries of the universe, to paint, to write, to sculpt, to build architectural wonders, or design a car engine that makes the racing aficionado’s heart beat faster, or to do a million other things—comes from within, and from the influence of others. And the world would be a miserable place without it.

  3. I think creativity is part of life. Sometimes it’s there, sometimes not. I know people who swear they don’t have a creative bone in their body. I think they’re wrong. I think part of the problem is that creativity is seen as something only artists and writers have. In truth I think we all have it. Businessmen have to have creativity to come up with new ideas and ways of doing things and very few businesses survive long term without that. At some point almost any parent has to excercise their creativity because no matter how many parenting books, courses or expert advice a parent has, kids have a way of changing the rule book.
    For myself sometimes I’m overwhelmed by ideas and characters. Not so much lately. I’ve spent a large chunk of the last week doing ‘nothing’. Not the blogs I’m supposed to have written or the social media presence seen as essential to life as an Indie. And today ideas are flowing. I turned down an OT shift today and I could use the money. To me this is more important.

    1. Hi,
      Go Pat! It sounds like you’re on a roll. I notice that inspiration comes in waves for me and it sounds like you’re riding a big one. I can’t wait to hear how it turns out. I hope you’re coming to the Lake retreat.
      All the best

  4. Great post Jo-Ann and great question. My creativity stems from my true self – creativity has chosen me and it wants to work with me. Much like the thought of a muse, I listen and create and see where I end up. Creativity whispers ideas to me like a soft kiss but sometimes like a sucker punch to the gut, creativity wants to get my attention, well it sure has gotten my attention over the years and I’m writing like a wild horse to catch up.

    1. Hi Marion Ann
      Wow. I love the images you create to describe your relationship with creativity. Soft kisses and wild horse chases. Awesome.
      Thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation.
      Best always,

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