Creativity Information

Creativity Stereotypes - Are They Holding You Back?

Here's a quick quiz:

1) When I see a see a sunrise, I'm moved to:

A. Compose a poem.

B. Try and capture the beauty with my paints and brush.

C. Stumble drunkenly into bed -- boy that party was a lot of fun.

D. Cover my face with my pillow and go back to sleep. Who in their right mind gets up early enough to look at sunrises?

2) At work, I'm the person my coworkers go to when they need someone to:

A. Think up a new theme for the office party (especially if they want it to be a bit wild and off the wall).

B. Get people excited for the party.

C. Organize the party.

D. Clean up after the party.

3) In school, I was considered one of the:

A. Brains.

B. Jocks.

C. Nerds.

D. Nothing. I was kicked out my sophomore year.

Now take this test again and write down what you think a creative person would choose as his or her answer.

Scoring: Well, there's no real scoring here. The point is to get you thinking about creativity and stereotypes.

In another creativity article I wrote, "Quiz: Are Your Creative?", I pointed out that the biggest difference between creative people and those who aren't is creative people believe they're creative and uncreative people believe they aren't.

But, it's one thing to say it and something completely different to live it.

I believe one of the things that prevent people from fully realizing their creative potential is the idea of stereotypes. They think they cannot be creative because they don't look, act, live, etc., a certain way. And, unfortunately, that belief can become so powerful it truly does cripple their creativity.

Let's take a closer look at these three stereotypes.

1) When I see a sunrise?

You can still be a creative person and not be moved to paint a sunrise or write a poem about it. Everyone is different and everyone draws their creativity from different things. Me, you couldn't catch me anywhere near a sunrise without an IV drip of coffee in my arm. And even if that did happen, I'd be lucky if I could reach the creativity level of a turnip.

The point is every muse is different and every muse dances to a different drum (or maybe it's not even a drum, maybe it's a French horn.) Sunrises make you yawn? So what? Find what gets your muse dancing and go with it.

2) At work?

You don't have to act like a Bohemian to be creative. In fact, that image of a black-clad, beret-wearing, long-cigarette-smoking Artiste has been the bane of many would-be artists. I can't tell you how many people I've run into who don't have time to BE creative because they're too busy trying to LOOK creative.

Creativity comes in many shapes and sizes. It also dresses in a variety of outfits -- from t-shirts and paint-splatted jeans to suits and ties to cocktail dresses to, yes, the all-black look.

Don't worry about how your creativity relates to how you look or act. There's no correlation between the two.

3) In school?

Again, there are no studies linking creativity to getting bad grades or being a social misfit. Creativity is just as likely to have been class president as it was to have been caught smoking in the bathroom. Or kicked out of school altogether. (Now, whether those schoolyard memories are fodder for creative pursuits is a topic for another day.)

Basically it comes down to this -- creativity doesn't fit into any neat box. Whether that box may be unconventional or conservative. Whether it's covered with clay and furiously spinning pots or impeccably dressed and churning out million-dollar deals. Whether it's dressed in black and discussing Satre in a coffee shop or pushing a stroller in small-town America.

Creativity is just that. Creative. It doesn't care what package it comes in.

It only cares that you use it.

Creativity Exercise -- Take Away The Power of Stereotypes

Go back to the quiz. Look at the answers you chose for yourself. (If one of my answers didn't fit -- which is entirely possible -- turn your answer into fill-in-the-blank.) Look at the answer you instinctively felt a creative person would have selected. I'm going after instinct here -- don't worry about what you read in the article. Or go back and see how you answered before you read the article.

Do you have two different answers? Describe what makes the answers different and why.

Do you describe yourself in completely opposite terms as you would someone creative? Why is that? Do some journaling on the answer.

Now try describing yourself again and this time add the statement "and that makes me creative" or "yet I still am creative" at the end. For instance: "I hate sunrises and that makes me creative. I was a model student yet still I am creative." Write these out ten times each day until you begin to believe it.

(Source: Freeing Your Creativity: A Writer's Guide by Marshall Cook)

Michele Pariza Wacek is the author of "Got Ideas? Unleash Your Creativity and Make More Money." She offers two free e-zines that help subscribers combine their creativity with hard-hitting marketing and copywriting principles to become more successful at attracting new clients, selling products and services and boosting business. She can be reached at

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at


Four Ways Creativity Turns Your 'Job' Into Your Life's Work
We are born with all of the creative gifts we can ever use. Then they are systematically programmed out of us by the demands of modern life. In 1965, a thoughtful researcher named George Land developed a creativity test for NASA to help select ...

Want to Nurture Creativity? First, Get the Culture Right
Is creativity inborn or can it be taught? David Yager, CEO of the University of the Arts (UArts) in Philadelphia, believes it can be taught. It's one of his main areas of focus at the institution. Yager is working on building a Ph.D. program on ...

Grand Island Independent

Chapman students showcase teamwork, creativity as part of Destination Imagination
Grand Island Independent
CHAPMAN — Five Chapman School students are able to put their creativity, teamwork and problem-solving skills to the test as part of the school's Destination Imagination team. The Chapman School Destination Imagination team consists of fifth-graders ...

Team behind RJ campaigns shines again at regional creativity ...
Jordan Times
AMMAN — The marketing team behind the now famous Royal Jordanian (RJ) media campaigns once again put Jordan's creativity under the regional spotlight, seizing the Grand Prix at the Dubai Lynx Festival of Creativity for the second year in a row.

and more »

Laralyn McWilliams on rediscovering creativity following trauma
Emotional distress caused by uncontrollable life events robs us of our creative power. This was the message from Laralyn McWilliams, chief creative officer at Skydance Interactive who, at an emotional talk at GDC 2018, recounted her experience ...

Workplaces must embrace creativity to enhance productivity | Expert column
With productivity and efficiency gains in decline, how does a business continue to succeed, grow and compete in the marketplace? The answer is creativity. Whether it's a new product, a new process or a new service, finding and developing that next ...

Business Day

Joburg festival: Africa, the one source of humanity and creativity
Business Day
To celebrate the transformative power of African creativity in music, fashion, art and photography, the One Source Live festival brings together artists in Johannesburg. The event is inspired by Absolut Vodka's "one source philosophy" — the brand is ...

and more »

ECM Publishers

Finding creativity in science
ECM Publishers
The innovation center is less than a year old, and Westlake is already working on improvements. Next year the center will offer capstone type classes where students will work on a project to present at the end of the term. Westlake said he would also ...

Santa Clarita Gazette (satire) (press release) (blog)

Creativity Advocacy – Divine Drivel
Santa Clarita Gazette (satire) (press release) (blog)
When I worked with Bette Midler for a short stint in 2016, she affectionately called my Creativity exercises “drivel.” After all, she's an industry veteran and a can-do professional. She is well aware that no one ever gets anywhere in entertainment ...

and more »

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Ingenuity, creativity and Plan A
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Ingenuity. I've always looked up to MacGyver. I can't say I ever watched the show, but I understand the concept. You can do anything with a little ingenuity and a paper clip. Right? The thing I want to talk about today is creativity. Some have it. Some ...

Google News

home | site map | Ocean Art
© 2006