Monday, March 11, 2013


I don't know much about creativity. I do know that I very much appreciate creativity in others and I'm often envious of the creativity I see, especially when it relates to then visual arts. (I also sometimes struggle with what some people consider "art" but that's for another discussion.)

The thing I'm curious about is can creativity be taught and learned, or is it something innate that can only be fostered and unleashed?

The trouble with creativity is first defining creativity itself. What makes something "creative" in the first place? Is it creative to build upon someone else's idea, refining and modifying the design to make it your own and, hopefully, "better"; or, is that just a variation of copycat? How much modification is required until its a fresh and new design?

Take, for example, knitwear design, since that's the area I'm most interested in at this point. A sweater has already been invented--two arms, a neck hole, the basic shape of a human torso. Everything else is variations on that design: cables or ribbing, fair isle or Bill Cosby colorwork, turtleneck or crew neck. Those variations are without a doubt creative.

But a plain sweater is not creative. It's been done a million times. And then once more.

For the record, I think creativity is anytime you do something that someone else hadn't thought of or better than someone else. Building on someone else's designs is par for the course.

Pardon the ramblings; this is an evolving idea in my head and I'm still trying to wrap my brain around it