Creativity – do you wait for the muse or get stuck in without her?

What is creativity? How do you get to be more creative? Do you wait for the proverbial muse to come to you, or do you get your hands dirty – muse or no muse?

This is a subject that is often debated when people talk about innovation and thinking imaginatively. Must say I loved this excerpt from BizNews on this subject:

Does creativity need the right conditions to flourish? Jennifer Mueller, a management professor at the University of San Diego and former Wharton professor who has researched creativity, sees evidence that it does. “Every theorist that exists today on the planet will tell you creativity is an ability that ranges in the population, and I think in a given context, creativity can be shut off — or turned on, if the environment supports creativity.”

John Maeda, former president of Rhode Island School of Design, believes creativity can be taught — though he qualifies that belief. “I wouldn’t say it can be taught in the normal sense of adding knowledge and wisdom to someone. I would say instead it can be re-kindled in people — all children are creative. They just lose their capability to be creative by growing up,” notes Maeda, now a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and chair of eBay’s design advisory board. Creativity in a child, he adds, “is the ability to diverge. In a productive adult, it’s the ability to diverge and converge, with emphasis on the converging.”

Anyone called upon to tap creativity has his or her own method, but photorealist painter and photographer Chuck Close suggests the matter is actually less mysterious than the muse-chasers might believe. “Inspiration,” he has said, “is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work.”

Read this great article on creativity in full on Alec Hogg’s BizNews for more clues about how to fuel your imagination.