Where does creativity come from?
If it were possible to bottle it or press it into pills or entube it as a topical ointment, a person could quickly become richer than that Gates couple.
It’s often associated with mythical mists or muses, or angelic whispers in one’s ear, or superlative IQ, or an Ivy League education, or some divine gift twisted into a lucky person’s DNA. I don’t think it’s any of those things.
Creativity, I believe, draws on a sort of savings account. And the more a person has managed to squirrel away in that account, the more creative she or he can be.
But the account is not in a vault. It resides in the convolutions of the mind.
A person who has studied—really studied—a molten sunset, or the way twilight burnishes a loved one’s skin, or the perfect play of muscles in a galloping horse, or a roiling summer thunderhead, or the changing veils of droplets in a waterfall, or a glassy backlit ocean wave, or an overheard happy or contentious conversation, and who has stored such knowledge away in that brain bank, has a wealth of material to apply to creative constructions of all kinds, from art to sculpture to crafts to writing. Only through careful scrutiny can an artist or photographer begin to capture the subtle play of light and shadow and myriad combinations of hues that will have the power to deeply touch others of our species. Only through listening to others and studying their behaviors can a writer hope to reproduce the panoply of human emotions faithfully, and thus command the widest possible audience.
A high, sad percentage of humanity idles along only peripherally aware of surroundings, assimilating only a fraction of the beauty, mystery, and majesty of life and nature that abounds all around us on our planet.
Those relative few who do experience life to its fullest through habitual in-depth observation of everything around them are the richest by far. And the most creative.
“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”—Confucius
“You can observe a lot by just watching.”—Yogi Berra