A person holding a pencil against a blank page

Why Creativity Matters

Written by: SQUUSHED



Time to read 6 min

The Power of Creativity

Creativity is more than just a spark of inspiration; it's a fundamental human trait that allows us to find new paths, solve interesting problems, and explore methods of self-expression. On the other hand, creativity can be weaponised. It may be used to further the individual above community, to prove constant growth and, in some cases, as a comparison tool to put others or the self down. Creativity is a powerful thing, and in this post, we'll focus on the positive aspects and how it can benefit both individuals and communities.

Benefits of Embracing Creativity

As an Individual

  1. Pathfinding: Creativity can lead to new ideas and solutions that push boundaries. It allows individuals to explore directions they might not have otherwise and forge their own path.
  2. Problem Solving: Creativity enables us to approach challenges from new angles, finding unique and effective solutions.
  3. Self-Expression: Creativity isn't just a means of communication; it's a pathway to personal fulfilment. Whether through art, writing, music, or any other form, we can express our thoughts, emotions, and experiences in a deeply meaningful way.
A photo of a  woman dancing with a fast shutter speed
Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy from Pexels

As a Community

  1. Collaboration: Discovering creative ways to interact with others is rewarding. When individuals come together, they build something much greater than they could do alone.
  2. Learning: Learning is a creative act from both the perspective of the teacher and the student. Finding ways to communicate knowledge in an understandable way and being able to apply that knowledge to individual contexts and personal lives fosters creative thinking.
  3. Connection: Building a social network (in the real-world sense of the term) ties into our fundamental needs as social creatures. Creativity can manifest as togetherness, mutual goals, or a broader sense of fulfilment.
Two women hugging in front of a pink background
Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

What Does Creativity Look Like?

Creativity can take many forms. What might be a creative act for one person might not be for another. In its simplest form, creativity is an act of creation. An individual's life experiences, history, environment, community, and context contribute to the creation, making it uniquely theirs. Even if the concept isn't anything new, a person's interpretation of the concept and how their life has shaped them is new. Nobody has lived your life. Nobody has had your experiences. All of this comes together to make your creative signature. 

A collage of various creative acts
Photos by picjumbo.com, Oleksandr P, Spencer Gurley Films, Thirdman, Daian Gan and Lucas Pezeta from Pexels


Traditionally, creativity takes the form of a drawing, a painting, a piece of fiction, a song, a design, or any number of other things. These are undoubtedly the results of creativity in action, but there are other, perhaps not so traditional, manifestations of creativity. What about a conversation that uncovers a different way of life? This might bring about new ideas or change. How about a session of deep contemplation and self-reflection? This might invite learning and personal growth. Not forgetting new experiences and first-hand practical knowledge. This may expand horizons and build communities. 

There does not need to be a physical creation as a result of creativity, but there must be an action of some kind. Creativity is an active engagement with the world.

Cultivating Creativity

To nurture and enhance your creativity, consider the following:

  • Engage in activities that inspire you, whether it's taking a walk in nature, listening to music, or exploring new places.
  • Set aside time for creative pursuits, even if it's just a few minutes each day to sketch, write, be present or brainstorm ideas.
  • Collaborate with others to gain new perspectives and insights that can fuel your creativity.
  • Don't be afraid to take risks and try new things; creativity thrives on experimentation and learning from failures.

By embracing and prioritising creativity in your life, you can unlock your full potential and impact the world around you.

Creativity Marking Scheme

Let's create a creativity marking scheme. What criteria would you use if there was a creativity test and you needed to determine a pass or fail grade? The following is a fun exploration of this topic. Let us know in the comments if you agree with our marking system or how your own system would work.


In our system, four main criteria go into being creative:

  • Originality
  • Discipline
  • Skill
  • Satisfaction

Let’s look at each one of these in turn.

Originality (25 points)

Most people think that to be creative, you must have an idea that nobody has before. This is 100% not true. Originality isn’t about the idea you have but your response to that idea. Everyone is shaped by their life experiences, interactions, and reactions. If you gave a group of 10 people an idea and asked them to write a sentence about that idea, you would end up with 10 different sentences. The initial idea was the same, but their reactions to the idea weren’t. The core to being original is having something to say that is uniquely you. Nobody else is going to have the same life experiences as you, so your perspective is distinctive. Use it.

Marks: 25 points awarded if the work is not plagiarised. The work could react to existing work, but it cannot be a copy or forgery.

Abstract paint mixing
Photo by Alexander Ant

Discipline (25 points)

Part of the creative process that is often overlooked is discipline. Ideas can exist unrealised, and work can go unmade. Creativity needs to be actioned; otherwise, it’s just unfulfilled potential. The discipline to make, or design, or write sets creatives apart from those who don’t. “I could do that” are words often said about contemporary art. But you didn’t. Through action, it was the artist who took their potential and turned it into creativity, not you. You have a different potential that is entirely yours, and you can also turn that into creativity if you have the discipline and gumption.

Marks: 25 points awarded if there is work. Simply doing is sufficient to score top marks in this category. 

An open diary with a pencil
Photo by Ann poan

Skill (25 points)

“I can’t draw”, “I’m not great at spelling”, “I can’t sing”. These are all words driven by fear, fear of getting it wrong, fear of embarrassment, and fear of being vulnerable. These learned skills are not the skills that are important for creativity. While they are valuable in themselves, they are not a blocker to expression. They don’t prevent you from saying what you want to say, and if they are important to you, they are learnable. You can make a creative piece of art even if you think you can’t draw. You can make a creative piece of writing even if you think you can’t spell. You can make a creative piece of music even if you think you can’t sing. The skills that are important for creativity are:

  1. Pushing outside of comfort zones and venturing into the unknown 
  2. Acknowledging fears and overcoming them 
  3. Speaking your mind and being vulnerable

Marks: 25 points awarded for having a point of view and challenging fears.

A woman covering her face with blankets
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

Satisfaction (25 points)

People are often reluctant to recognise their abilities, and this forced humbleness can stifle creativity. Seeing the worst in ourselves or not being able to say that we’re good at something may be a cultural or societal norm imposed on us, but there is significant value in honesty. Acknowledge your own talent and capability with the eyes of a stranger. Would you think it was good if someone else did what you just did? Revel in your own creativity and fill yourself with the satisfaction of knowing that you did it, you made it, you created it. Feed your own creativity with pride and satisfaction. Be your own best critic.

Marks: 25 points for being proud of your creation.

A fist bump
Photo by Diva Plavalaguna

Bonus points

Bonus points for encouraging creativity in others. Ask someone their point of view. Collaborate with someone to make, do, or create. Help someone push through their fears and show a part of themselves that’s usually hidden. Be proud of the accomplishments of others. 

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