Oh How I Wish I Was Creative…

While studying advertising it became apparent that there are two rival camps, the creatives and the account managers…

While the account managers should be organised, logical and have excellent communication skills, the creatives were described, by none other than David Ogilvy, as bursting with so many ideas and so much energy that their inept social skills and constant mood swings were to be accepted and dismissed because their creative genius was so desired, so essential, and so impossible to teach (!).

My desire to be creative is not so I can be let off lightly with emotional outbursts, but because I’ve always admired and been inspired by creative things; music, photography, theatre, fiction… For someone who has a vivid imagination I seldom seem able to covert the ideas in my head on to a page; my stick figures will never become works of art, my attempts at playing musical instruments are likely to be hilarious (assuming the Recorder and Guitar Hero don’t count) and my talented sister‘s creative concepts do nothing to ease my frustration over my utter lack of creative juices – I’m still ridiculously proud of her.

I had come to accept that I am not the next Monet, Gerry Graf, J. K. Rowling, or even Justin Beiber of the creative world, when I enrolled on an advanced Diploma course that delivered a training session entitled “Creativity”. Wonderful. I was pretty sure I would be the least creative person in the room, when the trainer presented this –

If when you first see this, you see the dancer rotating clock-wise the right-hand side of your brain is dominant and you are naturally creative, if the dancer is rotating anticlockwise the left-hand side of your brain is dominant and you are naturally logical. If the dancer changes direction you are both, but whichever you see first is your more dominant trait. If you can force the dancer to change direction, well you’re just brilliant.

To my amazement, I saw the dancer going clock-wise. Then she changed direction repeatedly. I was stumped.

It was at this point the trainer, who somehow believed I was creative from the beginning, changed my outlook completely. I had been looking at it all wrong. I had focused on the Arts, on the typical definition of the word “creative”, and not on what it actually means.

In fact, there are four types of creativity:

Deliberate and cognitive – when you are knowledgeable in one or more topics and combine existing information or ideas in new or novel ways.

Deliberate and emotional – when you are highly emotionally aware and develop insights into your personality, psychology and interactions with others by being engaged with your emotional creativity, also allowing you to develop above-average interpersonal communication skills.

Spontaneous and cognitive – “Eureka” moments that come from the subconscious of your brain, usually while attempting to problem solve by being deliberate and cognitive. Typically described as a flash of inspiration or thinking “outside the box”.

Spontaneous and emotional – often the type of creativity displayed in great artists or musicians, ideas are most often formed when the conscious brain is resting (typically at night, or in bed). There is no specific knowledge necessary but it requires a skill; writing, artistic, musical etc. to create something from the spontaneous and emotional creative idea. (Curiously, I am writing this at 22:48…interesting…)

Looks like there might be hope for me after all.

3 thoughts on “Oh How I Wish I Was Creative…

  1. anitadesignstudio says:

    Hmmmm…firstly thanks for the shout-out! I think your problem is applying a literal meaning/definition to the term ‘creative’. Creativity isn’t just about playing a musical instrument, being able to take a good photograph or painting something on a canvas. Using your imagination, visualising something or being able to describe a great concept is also applying a certain level of creativity, of which you are very capable. Strangely I possess both logical (sometimes too bloody logical) and creative characteristics that seem to constantly fight for dominance!! Your breakdown of the four different types of creativity was interesting – I was able to relate to each and every one and I’m sure that if you think about it; you too will relate to at least one of them. Although at its very essence and by its definition, the concept of creativity can’t and shouldn’t be pigeon-holed – it’s deeply personal and has many different layers. So maybe if you relaxed your logical side a little, your creative side could breathe a little more 😉


    1. purplepr says:

      I like how you put that, but don’t worry, my logical side is being told to take a backseat now and again so I can fully embrace the fact that I am creative! 😉 I made this post personal to me because I thought it was a great example of someone who was completely oblivious to their creativity and I was frustrated by my apparent lack of it for so long before I realised that I was trying to define it in far too exact terms. The topic came up recently with a few friends who are in a similar situation, so I thought I’d put this out there. I actually researched the types of creativity in more depth, there are aspects of being creative I wouldn’t have even considered before. Out of curiosity, (seeing as I know just how logical you can be!), was the dancer going clock-wise or anti when you first looked at it???!!!


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