Is creativity innate?

Self-censorship is one of the biggest obstacles to creativity.

Many of us think that there are two types of people in the world: creative and non-creative people. On the contrary, Tze shares how the fear of judgement is often a roadblock to creation and creativity, and how silly ideas aren’t all that bad after all.

Summary

  • The act of creation is quite an innate part of people, as seen in the current COVID-19 pandemic when people started to nurture their creative hobbies again when options for easy consumption is taken away
  • Internal self-censorship is an obstacle to creativity
  • When we are conditioned to seek only the right answer, fear being wrong or sounding silly, it creates this feeling of not being creative, when it is only the fear that is stopping us
  • “It’s not that you can’t come up with good ideas, it’s that you’re afraid that people will laugh at your silly ideas.”

Full Transcript

It’s not that you can’t draw. It’s because you feel that people think your drawing sucks. It’s this self-censorship that creates this feeling of, ah I’m not really creative.

MATTHEW
I’m sure you’ve heard before, “I’m not a creative person, it’s not something I know or is part of me. You’re a creative person so you should take on the ideas and come up with the ideas.” So the question today is, is creativity innate?

TZE
Yeah I believe that creativity is quite an innate characteristic. And when you take away options, like with the current COVID-19 pandemic, people start to nurture this other part of themselves right. They start baking, they start growing plants, they start doing other things which is not about creativity but it’s about creation, you know, making things, drawing, going back to the arts, going back to their hobbies.

And I think we’ve been so comfortable with easy consumption or easy getting of things that then we shut off that creation part that’s actually quite innate to people.

The other part, I think when it comes to creativity and the discussion of the client saying, “Oh I’m not very creative, tell us your point of view.” That actually stems from, I think more often than not, it’s not really a lack of confidence, but internal self-censorship.

Because we are somewhat conditioned to want to navigate to the right answers, to be able to come up with the right answers, that the fear of being wrong or even the fear of being half right or the fear of sounding silly is something that most people will cut off.

So it’s not that you can’t draw. It’s because you feel that people think your drawing sucks. It’s not that you can’t come up with good ideas, it’s that you’re afraid that people will laugh at your silly ideas. And it’s this self-censorship that creates this feeling of, ah I’m not really creative.

The converse is true from our practice.

The silly ideas, the ones that make people laugh, the ones which seem like bad ideas actually are the ones which are great ideas because they often start with a hint of originality or sometimes questioning the obvious that makes it actually the start of a really great creative solution.

THE STUCK IN DESIGN TEAM
Desiree Lim, Kevin Yeo, Matthew Wong

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