Types of Creativity

I used to think creativity came in one package. People who could create things like art or stories were unique and rare. Give them a blank page and ZAP! a new creation. Give a creative musician an instrument and ZAP! a virtuoso. I glossed over the fact that there’s practice involved. And time. But I think I believed that to be creative, you had to create from nothing. How very godlike all artists must have been in my little world!

As many people find out, having kids changes your perception of, well, everything. I used to think my older son was very uncreative. He’s oh so logical and everything has it’s purpose. To him the world is very black and white. And his little brother is the opposite. The world is green and purple. And red and yellow. And any other color he could throw in (I sometimes think just to annoy his brother– you know how it goes). He has such a unique view of things that it often eclipses his brother.

I thought I had one creative son until a revelation of sorts. The two were playing with their wooden train tracks. My younger son was using them as everything BUT their intended use (much to his brother’s consternation), telling stories about why the track up and decided to leave. Silently fuming at his little brother’s blatant disregard for the rules, son #1 set up his own tracks. They twisted and turned. They went up bridges and down. They flowed all over, but every track was accounted for, everything joined up with no dead ends. I understood the creativity in this, in finding how to work wth what he had to create the very ordered picture that he had in his mind. His creativity is that of architects and engineers. A very precise type, but creativity nonetheless

I found this site that describes two types of creativity: Adaptive/Resourceful and Innovative/Original. That just describes my two sons. And I also found another site that put forth four types: Boundary Pushing, Inventing, Boundary Breaking and Aesthetic Organizing. Certainly son # 2 is the first one (although son #1 has his boundary pushing moments) and both are the second. I am so glad neither one is the third. And I wish they BOTH had a little of the last one (you should see the mess at my house…)


One Response

  1. Very cool obervations on the different types of creativity. Thanks for the links!

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