What is creativity?

There was a great discussion going on over at Janko’s site, jankoatwarpspeed.com about what creativity is. We thought it sparked such a great discussion that we wanted to get more input on the topic from our community, so we asked Janko if he’d be interested in posting it over here as well. As you know “creativity” is near and dear to us so my hope is that you will share your thoughts with us! -Adelle


I have recently spoken to a friend of mine about the working processes and at one point he said to me:

The friend: “We let creative guys do the design work”

What do you mean by that? 

The friend: “Well, you know, web designers and other.. creative people”

You think the only creative people in your company are designers? Don’t you think that developers can also be creative?

The friend: ”Well, yes for the first question and no for the second one”

Uh, you’re so wrong, man

Creativity NOT equals art

According to Wikipedia, “Creativity is a mental and social process involving the generation of new ideas orconcepts, or new associations of the creative mind between existing ideas or concepts. Creativity is fueled by the process of either conscious or unconscious insight. An alternative conception of creativeness is that it is simply the act of making something new.

So, creativity is not reserved for web designers (and artists, or art, in general). Anyone can be creative. It can be seen outside the design or art. Take cooking for example. Can cook be creative? Could food be prepared or arranged on a plate in a creative way? Yes, I think!

Anyone can be creative

I would rather say that creativity is a state of mind, or simply – a mood. That means that anyone can feel creative sometimes and do something creative. Some of us could be more often in such a mood and some ocould be just a few times. Noone is creative all the time. 

So, back to my conversation with a friend – anyone can be creative: designers, managers, cooks, developers, you name it. Can code be written in a creative way? Just because there are rules, patterns and syntaxes that doesn’t means that problem can’t be resolved in a creative way. So yes, developers also can be creative!!! 

What about you?

Although I told you my opinion, I’m more than interested in yours. How would you describe creativity? Do you think anyone can be creative and have you ever felt creative?


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