When I speak with everyday people, almost always a proportion of them will tell me that they are not creative.
When I ask them why they think that, the most common answer I get is they list things that they cannot do or that they don’t think they are good at:
“I can’t draw”
“I can’t sing well”
“I can’t play an instrument”
They usually compare themselves to famous people they consider to be creative, who are most frequently painters, musicians, singers, sculptors, dancers or other artists.
And these individuals think that just because they don’t have the same level of skill that someone who has spent tens of thousands of hours mastering, it means that they themselves are not creative.
They may have even been taught this (explicitly or implicitly) by their parents, teachers or society, by separating professional artists from other people in society.
This is the problem of the Art Bias, where everyday people consider artistic skill as being the true way to judge if someone is creative or not.
This issue was highlighted by research by Mark Runco. The Art Bias has even been investigated in creativity research itself, where some researchers held artistic creativity in higher regard as other fields and may have implicitly designed their experiments in a biased manner.
As we have previously discussed, you can be creative in any field in life, not just in the arts.
So stop judging your own creative ability by comparing your skills to professional creatives.
I for example cannot sing very well, even though I do enjoy a bit of karaoke every now and again and know all the words to Gangsta’s Paradise. Other people can sing a lot better than I can. But I may be more creative than them in problem solving, design, financial modelling or even theatre.
Art is not the only way to judge creativity.
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