Workshop Makes

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The Value of Creativity

by Kat Penney

The dictionary defines creativity as:

“The ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules and patterns… To create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods and interpretations… originality, progressiveness, or imagination.”

Creativity is so much a part of our daily life that we sometimes forget how much to value it.

Almost everything around you has been involved in a creative process. The chair you are now sitting in reading this; the computer you are working on, the place you live.

How would your home look without art? Blank walls, utilitarian tables and chairs. No colour, no textures, it’d be just like your neighbour’s house, and their neighbour’s. Your ‘home’ would exist purely as a structure to give shelter. Your clothing might function in accordance to the weather, but it’d never be cool. What would your car look like? Would it even be invented? - an invention could not exist without a creative imagination.

Without the arts we would remove the bands from schools and choirs from communities; lose the plays and dance from theatres and no more stories or beautifully illustrated books in libraries. There would be no such thing as paintings, nor literature or festivals. No television dramas and that film that stayed in your mind for weeks would never happen. Your favourite song that brings so many memories back would have with no rhythm - the melody is merely sound. In short, our world would be drastically different and we’d have little to talk about, we’d simply be surviving.

“Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.” George Bernard Shaw.

The Arts also function in a variety of complementary roles in hospitals. Music workshops are used for people with dementia; “bibliotherapy” is a treatment of depression (when books are given as a prescription) and art therapy helps with children who can’t find the words to deal with their experiences.

And yet, so often it seems the only value that the arts seem to have is an economic one. In the words of Oscar Wilde it seems like a person “knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing.’ Art reduced to economics is easy to grasp, but no one can compute its true value or the pleasure it gives.

My imagination has been fuelled by design; I’ve been uplifted and consoled by music. I’ve been challenged by art which forced me to think, imagine and act. The world is a better place because of creativity.

Consider what is around you, the art in all its forms: painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, literature, music, dance, drama, film, video, architecture, furniture, packaging, craft, fashion, food, tattoos, graphics, products, websites… Take it in and see its value.