12 Most Striking Tendencies of Creative People

12 Most Striking Tendencies of Creative People

 

 

Ever wonder what makes those wacky, creative types tick? How is it that some people seem to come up with all kinds of interesting, original work while the rest of us trudge along in our daily routines?

Creative people are different because they operate a little differently. They:

1. Are easily bored

A short attention span isn’t always a good thing, but it can indicate that the creative person has grasped one concept and is ready to go on to the next one.

2. Are willing to take risks

Fearlessness is absolutely necessary for creating original work, because of the possibility of rejection. Anything new requires a bit of change, and most of us don’t care for change that much.

3. Don’t like rules

Rules, to the creative person, are indeed made to be broken. They are created for us by other people, generally to control a process; the creative person needs freedom in order to work.

4. Ask “what if…”

Seeing new possibilities is a little risky, because it means that something will change and some sort of action will have to be taken. Curiosity is probably the single most important trait of creative people.

5. Make lots of mistakes

A photographer doesn’t just take one shot, and a composer doesn’t just write down a fully realized symphony. Creation is a long process, involving lots of boo-boos along the way. A lot goes in the trash.

6. Collaborate

The hermit artist, alone in his garret, is a romantic notion but not always an accurate one. Comedians, musicians, painters, chefs all get a little better by sharing with others in their fields.

7. Are generous

Truly creative people aren’t afraid to give away their hard-earned knowledge. The chef can give you the recipe because she knows you won’t make it like she does anyway.

8. Are independent

Stepping off the beaten path may be scary, but creative people do it. Children actually do this very well but are eventually trained to follow the crowd.

9. Experiment

Combining things that don’t normally go together can result in brilliance or a giant mess. Trial and error are necessary to the creative process.

10. Motivate themselves

There does seem to be a spark that creative people share, an urgent need to make things. They are willing to run the inherent risks of doing something new in order to get a new result.

11. Work hard

This is probably the most overlooked trait of creative people. People who don’t consider themselves to be creative assume that people who are creative are magical, that ideas just pop into their heads effortlessly. Experienced creative people have developed processes and discipline that make it look easy.

12. Aren’t alone

The good news is that it’s possible for everyone to be creative. There are creative accountants, creative cooks, creative janitors, creative babysitters. Any profession or any hobby can be made into a creative pursuit by embracing and using creative traits.

Do you consider yourself creative? (Say yes.) Finding something you’re really passionate about will help you take a chance and might just result in something wildly creative.

Featured image courtesy of mattdoucette via Creative Commons.

Kim Phillips

http://www.getlucid.net/blog/

Kim Phillips is the founder of Lucid Marketing and author of the Lucid at Random blog.  With over 30 years of experience in corporate advertising for a major financial institution, sales and marketing, Kim provides clients with marketing communication strategies, branding, content management and creative services.  She is a teacher and speaker, and she finds time for musings and the occasional rant on her personal blog. 

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166 comments
smith_brooks
smith_brooks

I love this!!!  I often wonder why others do not try to take more risks.... Maybe if they did, they would see that they are creative too!!  We are all creative beings -- It just comes out in different God-given ways.

MakiAbigail
MakiAbigail

This is a great one I go to SAIC in chicago and we work tirelessly making mistakes playing with ideas, collaborating with other students. Although, I do at times feel I am introverted at school I feel its a mixed bag. The countless hours of thinking of 50 failures to get to the right answer, which lead to countless days of sleeping in the studio followed by my peers asking why did society decide this is the best way of doing this, or could it be changed.

EricaCook
EricaCook

If making mistakes is a sign of creativity than I am pretty damned creative.  I would definitely consider myself a hard worker.  I believe this comes, in large part, from living with a learning disability at a time when people like me were assumed to be lazy.  I didn't have a perspective on exactly how hard I did work until an ex of mine nearly fell out of her chair when I said that as a kid I was assumed to be lazy because I didn't learn things the same way and therefor didn't do as well. 

john in glendale
john in glendale

I agree with about half of these. In my experience, being creative is about having an inner purpose that transcends conventional expectations; hence, #3 and #8. The biggest struggle for me has been keeping the creative vision alive in the face of everyday living.  

Sherry
Sherry

I must disagree with "collaborate."  I don't like someone to see what I'm working on till I'm satisfied with it.

-Sherry

Greg Peters1
Greg Peters1

As a person who likes to paint outside the lines on a frequent basis I fully appreciate this post and hope others will as well. Keep pushing the boundaries, my creative friends, keep pushing.

Mysoul
Mysoul

Well I am creative. In fact I feel like a burst of poetry at the slightest provocation. My youngest child can rap at the age of seven despite none of us ever doing so. My ex husband is also creative, but logic grounds him. I am not grounded at all. I suffer. I suffer a great deal, like the poetic creases that drag upon the artist's face. I suffer. I suffer, but I will not change it to kill myself. I will starve to death before I lose my own life, myself. I cry at the loss of my heart. I feel it, more intensely as I ponder my loss. Logic is a killer and so are aspects of it for me. I see creativity in people that  truly want it. They thirst for it. I see that raw hunger and that pain in their eyes as dead faces in business suits greet me. I feel their thirst more sorrowfully. If there were food stamps for me, I would take it. I would allow it for me. I would live on the streets and turn my cheek to the cold, and let my hide burn against the pity of others, for my thoughts to set my life alight. My mental health has taken a beating all my life. I was 'slow' Always 'shy'. 

Rhett222
Rhett222

Just another boring article about from non-creative people regurgitating the same ol BS that's been floating around since the 80's. The truth is that our society does not value or care for creative people. Many of the most creative people in the world sit rotting in poverty because they lack every day skills to survive in a world full of selfish, stingy, judgmental  money whores, who use their money to legislate everyone else into a black and white world designed to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. They are now even trying to completely cut food stamps. Do you know how many famous artists lived on food stamps before they finally got recognition? and do you know how many artists recede back into poverty after they can no longer cope with the demands of success? I don't  either but I do hear about them from time to time.

Michelle
Michelle

Ehm. "Creative accountants" are typically at the root of big accounting scandals. That's one profession that should probably stick to the rules.

Greg Peters1
Greg Peters1

Amen to all of the above. Wait, am I boring you?

anonymous mama
anonymous mama

I agree. :)  I'm not sure why so many people are posting negative things here.  People who are creative should be able to see and appreciate people's visions unless they are blinded by jealousy.

david
david

www.daveravedotnet.tumblr.com doe a

not claim to bw very, only am very aware

MsJBelle
MsJBelle

This sounds just like me. I call it it factor lol.

thefirstangel
thefirstangel

i work as a concept artist in the gameindustry, so from my perspective i'd like to take a statement on point 3.
To put it as onedimensional as wanting to break rules is taking things into a very wrong direction.

I would agree a creative person isn's easily satisfied with a simple view, a creative person tries to understand as many aspects of a subject as possible, and is questioning things.
When I was a kid my curiousity wasn't recieved very well by some teachers, and put as questioning their authority when asking for competent answers.
Up to this day I don't like it when i see things that can and should be improved and proactively aim to achieve this. Don't just do things a certain way just because everyone else does it.

Today i often teach and give workshops, and from my point of view, I welcome thirst for knowledge, and the challenge to provide as much of it as i can.

MaryWhitney1954
MaryWhitney1954

This is a great list of  qualities.  However, I take exception to #3.  Creative People Don't Like Rules.  That sets up "rules" as generating right and wrong and creates limitations that constrain the creative person.  I contend rules are the scaffolding from which to springboard our creativity.  There is abundant creative thinking in mathematics which is founded on tested rules.  Like mathematics, music has many rules that are tools of creativity.  As a clay artist, I find there are many rules that serve as guidelines for the use of this material.  Rules are not the enemy, they are guidelines.

davidworthington
davidworthington

My best work is quite simply mistakes and accidents that happened long after I should have admitted failure while trying to do something else. My favorite artists are the ones who do the same thing and also encourage others as they have learned through that same ego beating there isn't anything magical about what they do. What's magic is that each and everyone of us has our own unique vision and perspective that's always worth the effort to find and express. The concept of what "art" or "creativity" is, is therefore as varied as those visions.

EveryoneCanBeCreative
EveryoneCanBeCreative

It was a decent summary, I thought it was alright until I read some of the narcissistic comments of the OP.

KindaSortaMaybe
KindaSortaMaybe

You forgot crazy, seems we all are a bit nutty in one area or another.  I understand all your posting on your list

Vishipedia
Vishipedia

How ironic... Most people commenting here think they're creative but don't understand 1/2 of what creativity is all about... Each and every point listed in this article is 100% true...

reneejackson
reneejackson

creative people don't let themselves get bored.


aeli
aeli

Says who?  Where are you getting this information?

ChelseaWilliams
ChelseaWilliams

@Sherry That's how I feel most times. I don't like it when people stand over me or hover, it drives me nuts. However, I do have friends that I share my ideas with because I trust them and value their opinion, not to mention sometimes they give me really good ideas.

JuliaMillard
JuliaMillard

@Minimoon Isn't it burdensome to go through life with such negativity and bitterness?  Maybe it's not the most definitive article on creativity but there are some good thoughts.  And I believe that even though most of us live fairly ordinary lives, C.S. Lewis was right when he said "There are no ordinary people."  I think negativity is a huge block to creativity most of them time.

Kim Phillips
Kim Phillips

@Rhett222  Not sure about the idea this post is "from non-creative people." I've been getting paid for creative work for nearly 35 years now.

diana3
diana3

@Rhett222 i am going to disagree with you...i know many artists who are thriving. we treat this as a business, and spend more time working than the average person..mostly because our minds don't allow us to slow down very often...not all artists are in it for the fame, or recognition. i really don't know what you mean when you say that artists lack everyday skills. we are creative, not anti social, stupid, or uneducated. i also don't agree with you saying that society does not value or care for creative people. 

diana

sculptorartist
sculptorartist

@MaryWhitney1954 then call them guidelines       the word rules can imply that there is no other way to do something, or that there will be serious consequenses if not followed. as far as doing clay, i find many of my students come into a class having been told that there are these "rules" . in reality, most of those rules can be undone by teaching the student to think out of the box, and by having no expectations of their finished piece until it is siting on their shelf at home....teaches risk taking and exploring  the medium, and yes, i prefer guidelines over the word rules

Willemgj
Willemgj

@Vishipedia As a creative person I can fully agree with #4-12, but 1,2 and 3 are not my flavor of creative, so for me NOT true. Not a biggy, I'm just not your kind of creative. 

I'm an insecure creative, so breaking rules is a big no-no. They give me security. I WILL avoid risks. And since my attention is easily taken fully by something I don't find myself being bored. I will instead investigate EVERY freckle on my arm or the grooves in the fabric of my shirt. This will fill up any time I could possible be bored.

 I think the "problem" lies in the phrasing of the 12 tendencies. Say: "Sees more options than most people"  and I can agree. This for some results in rule-breaking, and for others in finding creative ways of doing what you want any way without braking a single rule.

DonovanTwaddle
DonovanTwaddle

@reneejackson  Thank you for saying it :)  

I've been reading this comment thread and there's lots of negativity and lots of people are taking exception to one or more of the above points. The only one that doesn't really describe me is #1. I don't get bored. Period. 

I believe true creatives learn the art of contentment. I think there are certain types of creatives who are just never satisfied with what they create and those are the ones who are easily bored, but most of us cultivate a modicum of contentment, finding satisfaction in what we create. That's the beauty of creating after all, is it not?

Kim Phillips
Kim Phillips

@aeli Tell us about your qualifications as a creative professional, Aeli.

Arteasepat
Arteasepat

@diana3 I see that some need to treat art as a business? Not sure that is so creative. Create to sell as opposed to create because you have to. 2 completely different things. The most successful atists I know create because it is a business and they thrive. Several have asked me to come in and paint background for them. Oh so creative. The most creative artist's and best I know, create because they have to and could give a shit about the fame and fortune other than that gives them a bit more finances to create without stress. Art business is a joke. Look at the 80's and 90's. Print this and print that. A million publishers making a fortune. Artists getting bent over backwards. Ever look at where that business took some of these fine artists. Get on late night sale stations and see their art sold for pennies on the dollar. I suggest everyone screw the business end and look at it on the artistic end. Your soul will be better off.

BP
BP

@Kim Phillips I'm not sure I understand why you responded as you did to @aeli. Why is this person's qualifications relevant to the question asked (the same question occurred to me as I read your post)? Should we infer that you're suggesting that only creative professionals are allowed to pose questions of this nature? This struck me as an ad hominem response.

ChelseaWilliams
ChelseaWilliams

@Arteasepat @diana3I would have to agree on this. I am not a professional artist for medicine is my major. But when I do create, it is only to relax myself as well as express conflicting ideas I have in my head, so I wouldn't deem art as a business for me, it is more of a fun relaxing past-time that I can't stop doing. If someone happens to like what I create, then I let them have it without asking for money in return even if it did take me a while to complete. For some artists, the money is their way of living but I can't help but think, that if someone is doing something they absolutely love, they should not consider it a job.

diana3
diana3

@Arteasepat @diana3  i guess i feel lucky arteasepat, i do what i love, and also get paid for my work. i keep true to myself, and ..i don't  think that gallery owners would call the art biz a joke. i can't imagine doing anything else, without losing my mind! i do understand the other side tho...if someone chooses to try to go the commercial route, it could give them the financial resoures to continue to do the art work that they really love...my soul is happy everyday that i enter my studio...


sculptorartist
sculptorartist

@Kim Phillips so, what is this about, and what would you like me to stop? i was under the impression that these statements were open to discussion among those that are reading them. if that is not the case please set me straight, i have not participated in very many posts like this, because i have not found many that interest me and i feel unsure about sharing using a computer, that being said, if i offended you or am not following the rules i am sorry

jennadewitt
jennadewitt

Sorry, that was supposed to be responding to "Do the rules ever change?"

Lovely discussion here, folks. Great perspectives.

jennadewitt
jennadewitt

That's a good question. I would say it depends on what we are trying to communicate. The culture of the era might change an unthinkable taboo into a cliche or even a new rule. Then a new generation arises to question it. But the art that lasts, that remains relevant, is art that understands and respects the rules but pushes, challenges, questions and manipulates them for a specific purpose.

jennadewitt
jennadewitt

"he creative person needs freedom in order to work." The freedom to bend them and break when neccessary, yes, but as creatives we should like rules as they give structure and value to the messages we communicate through our medium.

Kim Phillips
Kim Phillips

Please read the post...it says we don't like rules...it does not suggest that you tell your students they have to follow rules...give them rules or don't give them rules or give them guidelines or don't give them guidelines but this is not about that...please stop it.

sculptorartist
sculptorartist

@Kim Phillips @sculptorartist@MaryWhitney1954 just sharing my past experience with students that have been told "these are the rules" maybe the "issue" is the word rules and how people interrupt that word......for me, if the "rules" don't work or make sense to me at the time of creation, i dump them and move on.  i realize  a lot of people have trouble with doing that and have found in my teaching if i use the word guideline that more people feel more at ease in either following or finding another way, which is what i want them to do, i encourage risk taking in my teaching, and for many adults that is a challenge 

jennadewitt
jennadewitt

@Kim Phillips @sculptorartist @MaryWhitney1954  I had an issue with that too. Sonnets have elaborate rules, yet look at Shakespeare. No free verse poet has achieved without rules what Shakespeare did inside the rules. This applies for nearly any medium. Design, photography, writing, acting... there are accepted rules and it's how you push and create within them that lasts much longer than chaos. Sure, push boundaries, go wild, but true genius is that which manipulates the rules to their advantage. :)

PoopinbeaksPortland
PoopinbeaksPortland

@Kim Phillips this is a non serious question by an under qualified  creative person. "why the fuck do you think buying, selling and making creative work for over thirty years puts you on a higher level than someone who wants nothing more than to ask a question?" also why would and could something as boundless as the creative human mind end up being a stupid list of twelve tendencies that people are arguing about on the internet, who the hell are we? lets get back to living our lives. shall we. your response to aeli seemed incredibly unprofessional and defensive. get a grip, when you write a little list like this some people will love it others will hate it and some will ask questions. after all creative people are supposed to be fearless in the face of criticism right? right? 

Willemgj
Willemgj

@Kim Phillips As I am only 34 I probably can not have the qualifications you are looking for. So I will not try and argue with you, but just explain the Latin (as in, I googled it for you).

An ad hominem (Latin for "to the man" or "to the person"), short for argumentum ad hominem, is an argument made personally against an opponent instead of against their argument. Ad hominem reasoning is normally described as an informal fallacy, more precisely an irrelevance.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

Kim Phillips
Kim Phillips

@BP @Kim Phillips I'm not an expert in Latin, only in buying, selling, and making creative work for over 30 years now. If @Aeli has similar qualifications, I'd consider the question a serious one. 

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