Creativity is what gives humans their special ability for productivity. We are capable of doing or making something that has never existed before, as well as innovating and modifying existing things anew. Creativity tends to occur when a person needs to innovate or accomplish a novel task, but it can just as readily occur when one is improvising life. Each individual has a unique potential for creativity, which is reliant on personal expression and cognitive idiosyncrasies. Neurologically, the prefrontal dorsolateral cortex and the prefrontal medial cortex both have an influence on human creativity, per creative brain-imaging studies. These regions influence how one handles their inhibitions and self-expression. With this it is safe to assume that genetics would play a factor in the potential for a person to be creative, along with the use and related experiences involving these neural regions. So, creativity may be innate but it surely can be fostered and developed. Psychoactive drugs, situation and context, events or education, thought processing methods, and a myriad of impetus could potentially activate or enhance creativity. Humans are capable of learning to be more creative, such as explicitly knowing how to break paradigms, compile ideas from apparently unrelated sources, to break functional fixations or norms, be driven to perform or solve things untraditionally, and the like. In contrast, artists often have a natural tendency and ability that is beyond teaching, but without proper detail we cannot say for sure if an artist is innately creative or if they are more likely innately thoughtful and metacognitive. I think it’s safe to say, creativity can be a skill — which is acquired — as well as a talent — which is possessed naturally.
Some critically influential factors and qualities of creativity are imagination, worldview, sociocultural and physical environment, inspirational sources and observance, knowledge and experience, ability and desire to produce, and awareness of creativity itself, along with one’s self-concept of their ability or need to be creative. Imagination is the ability to mentally form ideas, potentially beyond what is real. It is important in creativity because it allows for unique production. Each individual imagines differently and is the foundation for unique ideas. Imagination can take already existing concepts and evolve or transform them into something new. Worldview is a person’s perspective on the world around them relative to their culture. It defines the way they see, interact, and interpret reality. It is a significant factor for creativity because it allows for variation in perception. Different cultures will naturally create different things due to different worldviews. Likewise, sociocultural environment will dictate what is allowed to be created, what makes sense or is accepted as a product or method of production, and how likely one will be motivated to create something for public or clandestine purpose. The physical environment also must be conducive to creation, such as material, space, and conditions that either do not impede or bolster creativity. Inspiration is an externally originated influence that sparks a creative episode. It is a pre-existing concept or idea that inserts a new concept or idea into the creative mind, and so it must be able to emerge as well as be recognized and acted upon. Knowledge is an individual’s capacities to collect, store, and recollect meanings from perception, learning, and reasoning. Experience is built from knowledge, it is a mental gathering and organizing of what one has participated in and observed. It is an important trait of creativity because it gives a source to draw new ideas from, that is, to be inspired. It helps to define what is real and give clues to what is possible or what makes sense. The ability to produce relies on skill and talent, as mentioned, as well as the desire to enact those abilities. Skill is an acquired trait that causes an individual to be more adept and successful at some task; one must learn and compile skill by practice and learning. Talent is a naturally possessed trait that allows an individual to be more adept and successful at some task; it is part of a person via genetics and does not need to be developed so much as maintained. Ability is important for creativity because one cannot create if they do not have a mode of production to do so; just as the complemented desire to create is important to motivate an effort and outcome. Ability and desire allows for the individual to take what is in their mind and make it physical and expressive. Ultimately, the awareness of creativity allows one to know it’s possible to make new things and that it’s a trait everyone can foster. With the self-conception that one is physically and mentally capable to create, all these things come together in a person’s being to make the creations happen.
To conclude this creative article, imagine the trope of “thinking outside the box“. The inside is completely defined; it is everything that has already been created and the paradigms that exist for creation. Outside of this proverbial box is what is yet to be created or methods to create that are unknown. Looking out from the inside, the boundary of the box is the closest point to being truly new and creative. If you pass this boundary it is the same as breaking a paradigm or creating something completely original. These boundaries are pushed out each time a person is productive and are ever adding new paradigms to surpass; meaning with every uniquely creative act or product the box enlarges. Furthermore, more and more people are probable to be mentally and physically confined within the limitations the box represents. Fortunately, although the volume of the box increases, the volume outside the box remains the same: infinite.