The philosophical debate of originality in the creative field stretches as far as back as the Greek philosophers. Is there such thing as original creativity or is creativity just the appropriation of the ideas you’ve been exposed to? It’s a tricky question for this late in the working day but one that still has relevance.
The dictionary definition (Webster’s) defines creativity as one of three paths: connective creativity, complex creativity and blank page creativity. It is these three categories that build up the web of innovation.
Forbes would go as far as to say that these are the only types of creativity and any other factions of thinking are just synonyms or sub-categories of these big three. The question is, however, how are they different and what distinctions do they have in use?
1. Connective creativity
This type of creation involves the analytical skills involved in seeing totally disparate things and pulling them together to create something brilliant. On a small scale this results in breakthroughs like Ritz crackers with chocolate on them. If we’re talking larger scope, this kind of creativity results in thousands of scientific discoveries every year.
2. Component creativity
This is almost like the reverse of connective creativity where you use reductive skills to take apart complex objects and ideas to uncover solutions. When dealing with an overwhelming situation, try to reduce your big issues by taking it apart and dealing with the most potent issue. Deal with your problems like you’re playing a backwards game of Jenga.
3. Blank page creativity
This is the type of creativity closest to ‘original ideas’. It’s about seeing things that aren’t really there and making them a reality. Whether it’s a gap in the app market or free-hand painting without an end goal, as Forbes suggests.
It’s worth mentioning that you don’t have to stick to just one type of creativity. Experiment with them all, mix them up and, most importantly, don’t be too conscious about it. Relax and let your subconscious do all the hard work.