You know how people come up to you at an art show and say "oh you're so lucky, you're so creative"? ( Luck? !!!). As in: you were lucky you were born with good eyesight, where I have strabismus...
Then they tell you that they're not creative, sometimes sadly but sometimes almost proudly! How could one expect them to be creative when they weren't born with it?
And the truth is, they're right...they're not creative. Why not? because they're not creating anything - they're not trying to come up with new ideas, original images, make art, or landscapes or even great puddings. But...do they have the potential to be creative? Probably they do....though the amount of potential one has can, of course, vary.
These days cognitive psychologists have discovered that measuring "creativity" only by output i.e. what one has created is not necessarily a very good way to research this slippery concept. A much better clearer way is to think about one's potential for being able to create, how to define and use that. The scientists should be measuring potential and not performance.
He said there were a number of key findings about creativity. For example, some of the recent findings suggest that the potential for creativity is not located in one particular area - all this right brain/left brain stuff is incredibly over simplistic. When they put jazz musicians and a key board through an MRI machine they found that when they were asked to creatively improvise upon a simple melody, the whole brain lit up, and particularly the prefrontal cortex. When you are being creative you are not using one particular part of the brain but rather networks across the whole brain. Which makes a whole lot more sense.
Intuition does work...but only if you have the "knowledge beneath the surface". People simply don't know all that they know!! So a famous artist can tell you that they're working totally intuitively as if that requires no former knowledge but rather just the desire and courage to work with the particular medium at random because that's how it feels to them. They could be completely unaware that they are basing their decisions upon a lot of knowledge and experience. There have been lots of experiments demonstrating this.
One of the most interesting things he said was that problem finding was more important than problem solving. If you know what the problem is, you can solve it....but without that knowledge you just flounder around. This is why it's important to be able to look critically at what you're doing and see just where things are going wrong. Whether you're selling shoes, or creating an art quilt.
Another area that the scientists have studied is that of significant age changes in creativity. Little children seem to have loads of potential and come up with lots of ideas...let's try this, let's try that...until around 4th grade and then either brain maturation, or schooling or both begin to make them want to follow "the rules". This is apparent world wide. Inevitable? Necessary? we don't know.
Furthermore, although creativity is life-long, look at Georgia O-Keefe, Picasso, Monet, Matisse etc.