What is creativity?
Creativity is the human capacity to invent, to produce something that did not exist or was not known, to find new solutions to old problems, to discover new products, methods, or scientific procedures, to reveal new forms of artistic expression. Several authors have defined creativity in different ways, yet convergent and complementary. M. L Stein stated that “creativity is the process that results in a new product, which is accepted as useful and / or satisfying by a significant number of people at any given time.” For US educator Mary Lou Cook, “creativity is to invent, experiment, grow, take risks, break rules, make mistakes, and have fun.” We are particularly interested in the concepts of creativity emitted by Albert Einstein, an admirable creator in the scientific field and author of the Theory of Relativity, the most ambitious formulation of the human intellect. Einstein believed that “imagination is more important than knowledge” because “logic can lead from point A to point B, but imagination can lead anywhere.” The eminent physicist declared, “I have never come to any of my discoveries using the process of rational thought.” He warned, however: “A new idea arises suddenly and in a somewhat intuitive way. But intuition is nothing more than the product of an earlier intellectual experience.” He used to pause, from time to time, his work to play violin or do something else. In these moments or after them, ideas for his scientific thinking, enlightenment, and insights often came up. He combined different things and from this process, involving arbitrary interconnections and ramblings, openings arose for new possibilities of understanding, of being, of formulating. For him, the combinatorial game seemed to be an essential resource of productive thought. He was a leading scientist and a light, friendly, humorous person. For him, creativity was “intelligence amusing itself.” In antiquity, creativity was considered by some as a divine gift and by others as an activity related to madness. Remains of this thinking prevail today in retrograde minds. One of the most significant contributions to the study of education and creativity was given by the Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget. For him, there are three factors that influence creativity: working alone, seeking to know areas close to or related to one’s activity and suspecting external influences. British art critic Herbert Read, author of the book “The Necessity of Art” and champion of Alfredo Volpi’s award in the II São Paulo Biennial, was also a scholar of education and creativity. For him, playful activities are fundamental both for the child’s psychological development and for creative power. Creativity is essential in both personal and professional life. Some companies invest in creativity development programs for their executives. To create, one must think differently, “think outside the box,” as Americans say. The curiosity, the dissatisfaction with the existent, the necessity, and the will are inherent factors to the creative act. Creativity puts at stake the conscious-unconscious and reasoning- intuition dualities. It is favored by the will, distrust, uncertainty, difficulty, and daring, and inhibited by common sense, fear of error and fear of ridicule. In the visual arts, creating differentiated works is fundamental for the artist. This differentiation is achieved through the achievement of a language of its own, a personal way of expressing itself, the creation of a vocabulary of its own and of an original formal and coloristic syntax, different from that of other artists. Paul Klee already said that the artist’s mission is not to reproduce reality, but to create a new one, independent and autonomous. Another reality, yes; different, unpublished, and unique.