Failing to Define Creativity

by Hannahspeltbackwards

Lately the idea occurred to me that I’m not so much a maker or creator; I’ve become more of a documenter, a collector of other people’s stories. When I drew for Vancouver Draw Down, I remembered that even my drawing ability centres around copying exactly what I see. It’s the same with my photography, I collect images of things I happen to see and want to keep the memory of for later. I feel like my imagination doesn’t kick into gear much any more – it’s lacking – or I just don’t push it enough. What do you think? Is imagination intrinsic to creativity?

My making is strictly non-fiction of late. Perhaps I should I force myself to write something fiction to test if I still have any imagination. But then am I being too hard on myself? Can you really say that either fiction or non-fiction has more creative value? I know that I really admire the art created by people that can dream up images in their head and transfer those images to their mediums. But then again, there’s the incredible street photography of Vivian Maier, which depicts everyday people, places and events. Her undeniable talent is in seeing the value in that moment and capturing it in a way that others can still feel and identify with today. Not that she intended  anyone to see it.

I’m unsure about creativity. I do feel it takes more imagination to create something from fantasy, and I don’t feel like I’ve done that in a long time. Yet, creativity and imagination don’t have to be one and the same. Even if I do wish I remembered how to use mine.

At the same time, I look at that list of ideas I just wrote and I feel satisfied and inspired. I know I am an ideas person. I have more ideas than I am able to actually complete. And generating ideas is definitely an act of creation.