Creative Killers or Creative Opportunities?

I have sometimes heard it said, “This place is too constraining. I can’t be creative in this environment, with no freedom to think ‘out of the box,’ experiment, and explore.”

And as I have usually found a statement like this somewhat warranted in whatever organization or circumstance a person finds themselves in, it does make me question their creative depth.

Yes, environment can stifle creativity and there are sometimes barriers that hinder an imaginative spirit (& the speedy process to actualize such dreams)…

But who is more creative: the person who can accomplish their dream and achieve their goal with no rules or boundaries, or the one who manages to do the same within the perimeters of their environment?

Who is more creative: the painter who creates something beautiful using all the materials and canvas they choose, or the painter who creates something beautiful using limited supplies and limited canvas within a square frame?

Definitely seek creative freedom, pushing the boundaries when and where necessary. But careful of also not digging deeper in your creative well to allow your pressing circumstances to move you to new levels of problem-solving, dream development, and undiscovered creations.

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~ by Dave Smith on January 24, 2009.

5 Responses to “Creative Killers or Creative Opportunities?”

  1. i believe that the painter who is uncontrolled is more creative. when given guidelines or boundaries to work within the choices are already made for you. it has been decided that you are painting on a canvas, with two colors and who determines the perimeters of our environment anyways? i find it to be more difficult (maybe even more challenging) to create within a controlled environment but i have never been most creative in these situations.

  2. Great thoughts Nate…and from your artist gift and experience you definitely speak towards this with a unique and needed perspective.

    From the perspective of resourcefulness and one’s contribution towards society, I sometimes wonder if creativity is best utilized within the framework of “problem solving.”

    With that being said, I would identify your perspective as what is “difficult” or “challenging” as a problem to be solved…and to solve that problem unleashes your creative power (maybe a different form of creativity, but a creativity that may go deeper than what you could achieve within a problem or obstacle free environment.)

    I can’t disagree with you that it is more challenging to create in a controlled environment…but just wondering if effectiveness within these perimeters streches out something that would have never been discovered if complete freedom was given.

    I guess when you think of it, there are always perimeters (i.e. gravity), but I guess to what degree we can withstand them before identifying them as challenges.

    Thanks for posting and good to hear from you.

  3. good thoughts dave. you always have a different perspective that helps me rethink things.

  4. You have heard it said, “This place is too constraining. I can’t be creative in this environment, with no freedom to think ‘out of the box,’ experiment, and explore.” But Marissa Ann Mayer says unto us that, “Some of the most inspiring art forms are fraught with constraints. They are beautiful because creativity triumphed over the ‘rules.’ Constraints shape and focus problems and provide clear challenges to overcome. Creativity thrives best when constrained.”

    I’m with Marissa on this one…

  5. What she said.

    (a good reminder there is never an original thought)

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