Updated: Jul 12, 2021
Are they the same? Do you need to be creative to be an artist? Can you be creative and yet not be an artist?
The correlation of the two concepts has plagued me for a long time. I have carried around a belief that I could not be an artist because I was not creative and that I was not creative because I am not an artist.
But both of these concepts are so subjective. Who is to say that I am not an artist? Who is to say if I am creative?
According to Dictionary.com:
So one fundamental difference is that “artist” is a noun while “creative” is an adjective. Although creative can also be used as a noun, at its core it is an adjective. To me, a major difference has always been the seriousness of the craft, as is evident in the definitions of artist. Whereas a creative can also be a crafter. But today, who is to say what is “serious art”. There are so many wonderful artists, who only paint or perform part-time. There are so many crafters who make a full-time income selling and teaching their talents.
Now you may be wondering why I’m rambling on about this but what I’m trying to say is that I’m tired of these labels. I have come to believe that each and every one of us is creative. Have you ever met a toddler who worried about the fact that the marks they had made on the paper didn’t look like what they were supposed to? I haven’t.
They very proudly show off their art and we as adults are the ones who want to make sense of what they have created. Imagine if, however, we just praised it – did not try and understand if it was a picture of a person, animal, or place. What it if was just art?
Similarly, what if we could let go of our need to put “creativity” or “art” into a box and just enjoyed it? What if it wasn’t about the colours or the textures or the tastes or the words but more about a way of approaching the world?
I have come to believe that we all use creativity in our everyday life – we just don’t see it as creative because of the belief we have about what creativity is. Here are a few examples:
The outfit that you put on in the morning – that is based on the perfect intersection of where you are going, what the weather is like, your style, and your mood.
Cooking – especially when you don’t follow a recipe!
The doodles you draw while in a meeting (that’s not just me, right?)
Coming up with solutions to the problems you face every day (for example when you hit a spot of traffic and decide to take another route when you hit a snag in your workday or realize that you forgot to buy something you need)