17 March 2017, St Patrick's Day, before sunrise...
The requirement of novelty or uniqueness for a work to be considered creative is a bit of a stumbling block for many. Do I have to produce something that has never before existed? How can I know? After all, people have been creating and making for millennia. This uniqueness thing seems a bit extreme.
The answer to all of this is that uniqueness and novelty are relative. As is creativity.
If you produce something that is novel to you, something that you have never previously experienced, then you have produced what I like to call MICRONOVELTY. Who knows, or even cares, whether someone thousands of miles and perhaps decades away has produced the same exact thing before? You did it without knowledge of any previous work and, therefore, that makes it unique for you. Micronovelty.
If this something you produced happens to also be novel and unique to a larger milieu, say, the contemporary US quilting community or cell phone app market, congratulations!, you have MACRONOVELTY. One of the great things about macronovelty is that it is often lucrative. It almost always brings the satisfaction of recognition among peers. Macronovelty.
Finally, if you produce something that is truly unique in the history of mankind, you have UBERNOVELTY. This is the realm of the Nobel Laureates and the master artists who also have high utility and are the most creative among us. Ubernovelty.
So, there you have it. If you can combine macronovelty or ubernovelty with very high levels of utility, you have a high level of creativity otherwise known as Creative Realism. These productions are generally well received and often bring fame and fortune. Works which have high levels of novelty, even ubernovelty, with low levels of utility are, unfortunately, examples of Creative Idealism and are seldom recognized as having any worth.
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.