9 March 2017, afternoon...
Here I am. GreenPoodleCreations BLOG v.2.0. In the first, I got way off track from my original intent. This is to be a venue for creativity, specifically my creativity. But also creativity as I encounter it in my travels, both analog and digital.
So, it seems appropriate to begin with a look back at my grad school days to a useful definition of creativity which allows creative outputs to be measured and compared as to their level of creativity.
The problem that arises in many discussions of creativity is to first define what it means for something or someone to be creative and then to measure the extent to which creations and creators are creative. This is especially crucial if you are doing research in creativity and must be able to measure these things in order to conduct any meaningful research and reach any valid conclusions. Drs. Finke, Smith, and Ward of Texas A&M University solved this problem some 20 or more years ago with Finke's 2-dimensional creativity scale, shown below.
Four classifications of creative works.
Green is where the money is.
The two axes are NOVELTY and USEFULNESS. A work that is both novel and useful is deemed to be a most creative work. An individual who produces creative works is deemed to be creative. Works which are novel but not useful are less creative as are works which are useful but lack novelty. Those which are neither novel nor useful, well, why bother?
You can see the 4 classes of works which arise from this classification system. Many artistic types make the mistake of producing works that are novel but not especially useful. This is Creative Idealism and usually results in a starving artist.
The artists that produce in the Creative Realism classification are able to earn from their works. Works that are both novel and useful are generally well received in the market place.
The denizens of the scrapbooking shops, kit crafts, and pattern books are MAKING things that, by their very nature, lack novelty and are, therefore, not particularly creative. And perhaps these makers are fine with this.
Finally, those who simply assembly line cute or humorous items for sale at flea markets are generally in the Conservative Idealism classification. Low on novelty. Low on usefulness. This is not creativity in any real sense. They are MAKERS, of course. But there is no creativity, except, perhaps, in the original prototype for the mass produced works.
What about art for art's sake? you ask. Yes. That is useful in so far as people enjoy experiencing the art. Of course!
So, there you have it. The word CREATIVE gets bandied about with no agreement on meaning. In the research community, both novelty and usefulness must be present in order for a work to be considered creative. An individual must produce creative works in order to be considered creative. Simple as that...
Deborah K Smith, PhD
As a self-proclaimed mixed media artist and creative professional, I am in my 3rd career, having spent 15 years as a software developer and another 15 as a university professor. My first love and my most demanding one has always been creating whether it be a drawing, a bit of crocheted lace, a cloth doll, a piece of software, a PhD dissertation, or a piece of digital art. I simply LOVE to make things and I see make and make-over opportunities everywhere. My only regret is that there is no possible way that I can live long enough to make all of the things I see in my mind.