I was out with a friend recently, we were talking about creativity. She stated she was very creative. She is. But I had the distinct feeling we were talking about two different things.

The dictionary states creativity is “the use of the imagination or original ideas, esp. in the production of an artistic work.”

This is what she does. She creates, shapes and builds her business, she used to renovate homes – I’m sure very beautifully from what I have seen of her work. Effectively what she does is creative.

I used to work in house at various companies, making brochures, flyers, exhibition graphics – that kind of thing. I still take on regular freelance graphic work – as well as photography work. And here’s the trick; In some of the environments it was easy and enjoayble employing my creativity – and in some places, well, some tasks really weren’t creative at all – it was more like painting by numbers – just plain administration.

So this raises a question: when people talk about creativity or being creative – most of the time they refer solely to making images, music or writing. Why is this?

I think that there can be something creative in what we all do. I took photographs at a conference last Friday. It was for 1st year students who were studying a range of disciplines at doctorate level. The talk was to do with their continued success. One of the speakers said they had studied their subject and were good enough to be at doctorate level. It was now time for them to get creative in their subject- whatever that subject was.

To me, this playful attitude is where good things begin. This is the root of creativity.