Conceptions of creativity are ones that are fluid, dynamic and constantly shifting in tandem with the evolution of societies and civilizations as a whole. There can and should never be one singular definition of creativity. In many respects, anything that is ‘creative’ is an amalgamation of a multitude of ideas, innovations, discussions and inventions; all of which are at least in some way intertextually linked across time. What is ‘creative’ for one person also may be completely mundane to another and largely dependent on a myriad of factors such as their influences, background and personality.
It’s important to remember that the definition of creativity is less important than what creative individuals actually choose to bring into the real world by implementing their own understanding of the word. Nontheless, understanding various conceptions of creativity can help open a window into various creative processes and even open up new paths to creating something that you can truly call your own.
Homegrown spoke to some trailblazers from across the Indian creative economy in order to understand what the word ‘creativity’ means to them.
Aditya Mehta, Founder CEO - Art&Found™
Creativity is found at the crossroads of external and internal. External in the form of inspiration — books, film, music, art, travel, nature, things we consume on a daily basis, consciously and nonconsciously. And internal in the form of your identity — who you are, your past, present, future, how you perceive yourself, your values that make you who you are, your passions and aspirations, your system, who you are becoming, your self-awareness. Where both converge, is how I view, seek and explore the true potential of creativity.
Meenakshi Singh, Co-Founder and Director - Capsul
Creativity is like a mindmap. The ability to think out of the box as well as what one can do with the box is creativity.
Ishan Nair, Director/Photographer/ Visual Artist
I think creativity is just a state of being for me. To create; whether it’s making an omelette or directing a film, you are in the process of creating and the best output comes from being connected. So creativity connection.
Santanu Hazarika, Visual Artist
Creativity is not just dealing with any situation in a very out-of-the-box way or coming up with something new. It’s more of a language. I feel like we all have different skillsets and we have our own ways of reacting to our surroundings and situations. For me, it’s the way we comprehend and actually vocalize or communicate so that we can overcome or create something new. Creativity is the language through which we are able to communicate or propagate our expressions or ideas using the skillsets that we have. So for me as an artist, creativity would be an ideal or a the best creative thing to do. It would be how much better am I at actually expressing my thoughts and my art through the skills that I have. As I keep developing my skills, my expression and the way I vocalize or the way I visualize my expression will also become better. So I think, that’s my creativity. That’s my way of using my skills to put forward my art. And I think that’s what creativity means to me.
Mangalam Maloo, News Anchor - CNBC-TV18
Creativity according to me is nothing but the power of observation. You ask most creative geniuses how is it that they express themselves in such a unique and a creative manner that’s different to everyone else, they would very nonchalantly say “Well, it was just obvious.”
It was obvious to them and no one else because they had the power of observation. And observation is basically a function of how much you stimulate your brain by exposing it to as many elements, as many references, and as many contexts as possible because the more you experience, the more your brain forms connections between two things and they need not necessarily be from the same field. I could gain some experience from the field of art and then apply it to finance. So it’s observing, forming connections in a subconscious way and then in the way I’ve explained, it manifests. So creativity is all about observation according to me.
Sonam Nair, Writer
Creativity, early on before I actually became a creative person and actually did this as a profession, I thought it was all about my imagination and putting things into existence that don’t already exist; creating a story or an image or a character. For me, it was more about a world that I was ‘creating’ in my scripts or films or series. Now, as I’m a little older and more experienced, when you say creativity the phrase that comes into my head is ‘problem solving’ or overcoming a challenge. Now my creativity gets used to solve problems and figure out ways around what is available. It’s a more practical way of seeing creativity. I still want to create those worlds and that is creative, but to me, creativity is now more complex. For example, if I’ve given myself the challenge that something I’m writing has to be funny, that’s where my creativity gets used more. So I think creativity is now more about challenging myself.
It can even be when you’re on set and have to nail a scene. You had such a nice initial vision of what the scene was going to be like but then you get to actually doing the scene and it’s raining and someones sick and the set you wanted has collapsed and you still have to keep going and shooting the scene. That’s where creativity comes in and that for me is more creative than writing the scene in the first place. I think that’s the difference between the ‘innocent’ versions and the ‘practical’ versions of creativity.