Every day, for a week, I’m writing about the definitions of Creativity thinkers have offered throughout history and why each one cannot be the final definition.
Aegineta, sculptor, Glaucus, inventor of welding and Pyrgoteles, gemologist, all rose at dawn to work on their craft.
The Fathers of Classical Art, were appreciated by kings of the era and well paid for their work, but no one in Ancient Greece, 2,500 years ago, considered them Creative. Artists of Ancient Greece were recognized as gifted rule-followers, a bit like electricians or accountants of today.
The Romans recognized the Greek mark of inspiration and heavily borrowed their techniques and patterns to design grand buildings and well-organized cities around the globe even to India and Japan.
But when Aegineta and friends were alive, they had no idea the Parthenon or the statue of Nike would hold their genius, within for so many years. They must have loved their work; they must have worked in flow. But the idea of Creativity, as we know it today, did not yet exist and so they had no idea how Creative they were.
Learning and then following rules of a domain is crucial to Creativity, but there is more to Creation than staying within a set path.
Creativity Scholar Mihalyi Csikszenmihalyi believes Creativity is defined socio-culturally and historically. In gist, Creativity is defined by its future effects on society. In that case, it would not have mattered if Aegineta’s concept of art held true to modern standards. He enjoyed a short Ancient Greek lifespan, and the effects of his ideas would not be fully seen until Rome took over the planet.
The speed of life and the dissemination of ideas is so much faster in 2010, creative-types may enjoy full-blown recognition for their contribution much sooner. And, the concept of Creation is bound to morph to new ideals with time.