Creativity – can it be taught?

An interesting point being brought up in the discussions is whether creativity can be taught. Can creativity be taught? Or the other side of the argument is: either you “got it” or you don’t.

For me, I believe everyone is creative. Their creativity, however, comes in endless forms. There is creativity in weaving a design in a rug at the Sadu House, or painting a picture for FA Gallery, or designing a banner for the Avenues Mall. Not all of us have the skills and patience to weave a rug. Not everyone has the passion to mix oil paints. Not everyone has the skills to use the computer to create a huge advertising banner. And as I’m sure you will note – I said “skills.”

Creativity is a mix of skill and talent, art and science.

In my visual storytelling class, I’m seeing students who had absolutely no confidence in drawing – drawing characters that look recognizable. We’re beyond drawing “stick figures.” We’re now working on camera framing and angles. Their creativity was unleashed with motivation, confidence, and a fun environment.

In Introduction to Visual Communication class, we’re discussing creating an effective message with simplicity. Using one or two images mixed with an effective sentence (or two). It takes time and a lot of practice to hone these skills.

I think creativity is in each of us. We just have to have the confidence to nurture it.

18 responses to “Creativity – can it be taught?

  1. I think what helped me think of my ad project or any other published ads is the way we are discussing ads in class. I think at this stage in learning is to look at each ad that comes across and say what is positive and whats negative based on what we are learning in class.
    Creativity! Dr. can you link creativity with us chosing what to wear each day ? or could you link creativity in placing your bedroom furniture? being creative in writing a letter, sms, postcard?? being creative in chosing a gifts for a birthday gift? 
    I guess at least 1% of creativity is in us as human. 

    • linking creativity to clothing? Absolutely!
      My 17-year-old daughter went to the American School of Kuwait.
      the uniform was standard black skirt and school shirt. No creativity there, right?

      But what shoes do you wear? The skirt has to be black – but it can have pleats, ruffles.
      Jewelry can accessorize. Bracelets. every day, she would look very, very different.

  2. Interesting thoughts, sir. I always believed that I lacked creativity. I am hoping your course will help me find more ways to be inventive. I’m starting to enjoy drawing and art – things I had grown up detesting!

    • Great! That’s actually what I was hoping for!
      Keep up the great work.
      I have your first week drawings…we’ll compare them with your final week,
      and compare the differences!

  3. For myself, if i know the abilities of the supporting stuff or programs then i can do it in a good way to make it creative with the help of the program. But same as the project, for myself i didn’t use Photoshop at all so i don’t know what can it do or what can i do with it. I believe creative is gained by experience and loving what you are doing..

  4. I agree with you that,” I think creativity is in each of us. We just have to have the confidence to nurture it”. Well, I hope this course to make something creative with drawing and art. Working hard will improve my skills specially with drawing.

  5. Throughout my short life, I tried many fields of interests to find out what I really like and what I’m really creative at. I tried squash, drawing, back-then Micromedia Flash animation, photography, and many other stuff, and I failed in each and every one of them! I thought I was a failure. You would be surprised to know that almost three years ago I found out that I loved parenting, yes, parenting!

    Now, you could call me a near-expert in parenting, I’ve read lots of books, watched lots of DVDs, and signed up for lots of workshops, and by next year inshAllah I’m getting a certificate in teaching Positive Discipline, my personal favorite positive parenting philosophy from a workshop in the US!!

    Oh, did I mention I’m not married?:D

    From my humble experience, try different stuff until something clicks in your mind and you say: “that’s it!”, even if that thing seems bizarre and people doesn’t approve it (tell me about it), I mean come on, a 21 year old likes parenting?! its like cats and dogs living in harmony! When you find your thing, creativity will burst out of you like heck!

  6. I believe that imagination leads to creativity. creativity cant be taught, and i agree that creativity is in each of us.
    Everyone can be creative with whatever they are doing only if they love it . so love what your doing and naturally you’ll be creative

  7. do u think creativity is a skill, or is it a meets of opinion and taste, someone likes simplicity others like complexity, some like black, some like white, how is creativity measured, all humans are creative enough so satisfy there their own personal taste

    • I think when we evaluate creativity, we have to take subjectivity into consideration.

      When I evaluate your work, I try to use a rubrix for the grading. I grade you against the standards set by the assignment, trying to be objective and less subjective.
      For example, you may like purple – and I may not. But your use of purple is judged on its effectiveness, rather than my preference. (or at least I try very hard to be objective).

      • my preception is that if there is a grade that means there is a standard, if there are standards that mean theres a limit to creativity, for us to meet this standard

  8. every on are creative this true. but some times a person tell you that he is not creative , I will say to him that is wrong, but want to be uncreative just open your mind and think deeply we will see that you have many ideas for every thing.
    also as for me I always say that I don’t know haw to draw I am not creative in this field but when i tried to draw I realized that i’m good in drawing.

  9. I totally agree that everyone has creativity within them but just on different levels, and in different fields.
    Thats a really interesting point to think about.
    I guess one can even be creative in solving math problems or marketing methods, not necessarily art. I believe everyone is good at something, the problem is people don’t spend enough time getting to know themselves and what are their strengths and weaknesses. So they end up in a major or a job that they don’t even enjoy.

    • I agree. If you love what you do, its really work! For me, I love teaching. It gets tiresome at times – but on the whole, I enjoy working with you all!

  10. Creativity can’t be taught because everyone is creative in their own way. We can enhance it by practicing with different activities. We can gain some creativity from others and some you will find inside of us. Everyone needs to find what they are interested in in order to create best and wonderful things.

  11. I too believe that every individual can be creative. But the important key is that creativity can only be unleashed when the person is interested in the subject.Creativity can not be taught because it is like telling a person how to think. On the other hand, you can guide a person on the basic regulations on the essential principles in whatever the thing needs. Like for example a person cannot be creative in weaving a rug if they do not know the basic how-to of weaving.

  12. I liked how you defined creativity as a mix of talent and skill. People nowadays may be interested in nay matter but wont give time to try and do it themselves. Young adults’s creativity is being less as time passes due to the new trend of being careless. Creativity cannot be taught, but if a person invested time and work immensely then we will have geniuses all over the world.

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