Home > Uncategorized > On Giftedness and Creativity

On Giftedness and Creativity

On Creativity, Perceptions and lighting a spark l

I was thinking about this subject the other day..  How do we ‘know’ creativity?  Is it something we make, we can touch and look at? or is it something intangible, in our minds eye.. that leads us to produce something tangible.. Is it maybe a ‘spark’ somewhere deep inside a persons spirit, that sets alight the wick. A wick that may or may not burst into flame.

To create, to make something in a way that has not been made before, something different to anything else on earth, can sometimes seem like a great ‘impossible’ .  Yet, it happens everyday.  The thing is.. there is so many ways of ‘being’ creative, and sometimes we forget this.  In forgetting, in not having an open mind and ‘eye’ it may be easy to miss.

It can also be easy to stifle.. Wether it is absent-minded doodling, or absent-minded musing the potential to produce something unique is always there.. the uniqueness however at times may seem dependent on others perceptions of what this may mean.

Perception is a funny thing..

A young child may go into a creative flow… produce something uniquely their own in their heart of hearts..lighting their spark.. (ie the only child in a class of thirty-three who insists on colouring Santa Orange (his idea of happiness representing feelings at Christmastime) instead of Red, like teacher says.

An adult/teacher/other child may come along and not understanding/seeing the beauty it’s maker feels and can with one word or a glance, take all the light, snuff the wick (Take the Orange Santa away, and ‘make’ them colour one in Red.. under observation… ).. and turn out their light..

A left-handed student may have wonderful stories in their head, just dying to be put on paper.. every time they try to , and get a paragraph down, on paper, because of the smudging , they are made to go back and copy the paragraph again and again…

The stories take flight… the hand is sore.. the paper a bore… the light is lost..

A teenager may have an idea of how to do a project for school, asks Dad for some tools.  Dad not only supplies tools, but tells son what to do, and then does it..

Teenager feels frustrated, maybe inadequate, maybe.. their idea was not good.. a bright idea is now feeling rather dark.

Sensitive Gifted personalities would find experiences like this rather painful..

Would the Orange coloured Santa, one day become an oil painting Masterpiece, had someone said instead. ‘My you have an interesting colour scheme there, can you tell me what it means to you?’

Would the paragraph , become a novel, had someone said instead ‘Don’t worry about the smudges now.. just let your ideas flow onto the paper.. we’ll bother with appearance when your finished…’

Would the teens idea, constructed with the tools in his own hands and his own way, become an award-winning architectural design…

Sometimes it is important to step back, and let the creator revel in their flow, for it is from these small, but significant feelings of satisfaction and ownership of self, that greater, perhaps more significant creations may come.

I often hear people say.. ‘I am not a creative person’.. when I have clearly seen glimmers of this in them..it often makes me wonder.. what was it that made them think this way…

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. September 4, 2010 at 9:43p

    I think teaching good self-assessment is the only way to truly encourage creativity. It gets around children being told they are wrong, because it builds in opportunities to explain their ideas.

    The orange Santa reminded me of my cousin getting in trouble for drawing blue and purple leaves at school when we were children. We found about different 20 kinds of blue and purple leaves in my mother’s enormous garden, and sent them to her teacher. I’m not sure it changed much, but she felt supported!

  2. September 4, 2010 at 9:43p

    Hi Mary

    You are so right.. this is why I said.. important to help child explore feelings around the orangess of their santa!! Glad you got my drift.. ;-D

  3. September 4, 2010 at 9:43p

    Agreed. Creativity brings out the wild horse in us… It should be allowed to gallop and play! I would like to recount my own experience here. I was teaching a group of A level students about the structure of the HIV and how it is virtually impossible to get rid of it. My students came up with a huge string of ideas as to how it can be destroyed. Impractical though, I am still amazed by their degree of creativity that they shared with me on that day. People who say they are not creative can be made to explore things by themselves (I always do this in my classes). This should reveal the creative side of anyone. According to me, everyone is equally creative. It’s only the degree of self realization and self confidence that varies.

  4. September 4, 2010 at 9:43p

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment and also to both of you for sharing your experiences here… doing that is a great way for others to understand too.. !

  5. September 4, 2010 at 9:43p

    I agree. I hear so many stories in my creativity workshops with teachers and others about a person — often early in their lives — who made a comment to them about their art or their creativity. And 30, 40, 50 years later, these people tell the story of negative judgment as if it was yesterday. At the same time, POSITIVE encouragement of one’s creativity and expression can be just as memorable. Both of these example are a reminder that “moments matter” — a seemingly fleeting comment can have a profound impact on individuals, sometimes forever. Those interested in creativity and kids (and adults), might be interested in these articles:




    Steven Dahlberg
    International Centre for Creativity and Imagination

    • September 14, 2010 at 9:43p

      Hi Steven..

      Thanks for replying… moments do matter…. will have a look at your articles when I have a spare moment.. it is so nice and affirming when folk take the time to comment.. Thanks so much…

  6. September 5, 2010 at 9:43p

    I often here from students that ‘they aren’t creative’.
    it makes me said.
    As http://www.gapingvoid.com says we are all creative when young, we all play with the crayons.
    Growing up these tools are taken away from us and the concept of bweing ‘good at it’ becomes dominant.
    thats if you are given the chance to try at all.
    Too much focus is put on being right in Education, causing fear of being wrong.
    How can you do anything original when you are too afraid to be wrong.

    A little thing i do with my college students to get them to be creative.
    When they are late for class they have to fill in a late slip.
    I tell them that my class is too important that they missed it becuase ‘they overslept’ or ‘missed the bus’ so they better give me a better reason.
    one of my favourites was ‘grizzly bear let loose in high street, and they stopped it to save a couple of nuns’

    • September 5, 2010 at 9:43p

      What a wonderfully creative and unthreatening way of dealing with a lateness for class problem!! ;-D I like that!!! and yes.. I think that fear is a great inhibitor too… I have experienced this with writers block… it can be paralizing.. BTW… thanks so much for visiting and commenting… it is nice to share and have people share back… 😉

  7. September 5, 2010 at 9:43p

    I’m reading a wonderful book called Creating by Robert Fritz. He says that the key to creating things is loving them. We love something enough to bring it into existence. I think children have this kind of love naturally, but it can be easily killed, especially in sensitive gifted children. We need to give them–and ourselves–the safety to love creations into existence, whether it’s an Orange Santa or a symphony.

  8. September 5, 2010 at 9:43p

    Ya.. that is close to what I feel and think.. loving something can create flow and love+flow = Passion which may help the fruition of a ‘positive creation’ whatever it may be.. However, perhaps on a darker side.. hate may do the same.. as there are not so nice creations as well!! Strong emotions plus flow becoming passion and ultimatly manifest in creating something unique could perhaps be ..

    You are right in that A safe place, a place of trust and acceptance may breed /help to foster positve self expression and bring positve creations into existence..

    It is nice that you wrote such a thoughful comment.. Thank You!! ;-D

  9. September 5, 2010 at 9:43p

    Ps I shall have to look for that book too.. ;-D

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