Where does creativity come from?


The idea in the link is that it comes when you “get out of your own way”, that creativity blossoms when you touch your true nature (which they claim to be stillness, but I don’t know).

I mean I guess there can be some truth to that. I know that in the past some of my inspirations came out of nowhere when I wasn’t thinking about anything or just letting things flow. I would be focused on something and then POOF.


That’s one way, one set of descriptions.

Another is ‘mindfulness’,which is currently very popular:


The explanation below is from “Psychology Today”

"What Is Mindfulness?
Our life can quickly pass us by when we’re not focused on what matters. We have a bad habit of emphasizing the negative and overlooking the positive. Being mindful can help. Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When we are mindful, we carefully observe our thoughts and feelings without judging them as good or bad. Mindfulness can also be a healthy way to identify and manage hidden emotions that may be causing problems in our personal and professional relationships. It means living in the moment and awakening to our current experience, rather than dwelling on the past or anticipating the future. Mindfulness is frequently used in meditation and certain kinds of therapy. It has many positive benefits, including lowering stress levels, reducing harmful ruminating, improving our overall health, and protecting against depression and anxiety. There is even research suggesting that mindfulness can help people cope better with rejection and social isolation. "


In my opinion, simple meditation techniques can be very helpful . The easiest to ease into of which I’m aware is Hatha Yoga, which is the type of yoga perhaps most widely taught in the west. If you only want it for a form of exercise and relaxation, that’s fine. If you’re interested, I’d suggest check out a few teachers locally. Initially at least, perhaps avoid the religious, mystics and gurus–and do investigate the one you choose.

You may find the TED Youtube clip useful . If not, or if you want to know more, there are a lot of clips on Youtube, some quite long and detailed.


I tend to get hung up on “stillness” being our true nature as that singer in the link says.

As for mindfulness, I find it hard since there are some feeling that hurt or feel like agony in the mind.

I think that “creativity” happens when one’s thoughts are under multiple sources of control. Iow, more likely to happen when one is not in their typical mode of thinking but can have thoughts that are influenced by various, not necessarily apparently related experiences.

I mean sometimes it gets triggered when someone says something or I happen to spot an object or area or read something and then it just comes to mind like some sort of link. In my experience though it doesn’t happen when you “try” to make it happen. It’s more like it just comes to me when I least expect it.

Interesting question.

Painting is an interest I have. Most things I produce are little more than fifth rate copies, not especially gratifying, and generally suck…

Occasionally, I reach another place, and produce something original and satisfying, which I like. (probably still sucks to others). I’d call that place ‘creativity’. Not sure how I get there. In retrospect, seems to happen when I’m completely relaxed, without a clear idea of what I want to produce.

I’m aware of complete focus and high energy, both usually absent in my daily life.

Accepting the notion of creativity I think raises the question of talent and genius.

My perception is that virtually anyone can be taught artistic skills to a certain level. EG basic drafting, perspective and colour theory. In my experience not everyone can be taught to draw or paint what they actually see. I still struggle with that.

I do not believe that talent /genius can be taught. If it could ,there would be thousands of artists producing works as good as Leonardo, or Picasso, or Monet, or Van Gogh etc etc. That ain’t the case.

From whence does creativity, talent and genius come? In what part of the brain does it reside? I’m a materialist, convinced there must be a scientific explanation. I have no idea what that might be .

I think when the skills are taught then comes the point where space must be made for the “process”. But without the means or skill to realize what is born from that it’s useless. One cannot make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.

Xain - what does the future hold for young people?

Here is my creative answer! ?

First, although we could hypothesize that our brains contain some genetic memory of some sort, for the most part let’s assume we are blank slates near birth. People with autism absorb their environment so fast that it confuses the brain, they hear sounds near and far, and if multimedia playing it is all shouting at once, both visually and auditorially. Very little gets internalized in situations that have lots of stimulus. People without autism still see or hear these inputs, but our brain has learned to focus only on information we have learned is pertinent…most of it goes to the subconscious.

I would hypothesize that creativity comes from the subconscious. Crazy dreams have themes and motifs with images we think are conjured up, but more likely it’s just a mishmash of stimulus our subconscious has picked up from our everyday lives. If you include multimedia, anything is possible. For example, UFO’s in the form of flying saucers were not popular until the invention of the frisbee, and movie culture first depicted flying disks coming from space. There were likely flying disks for centuries prior to frisbees…Roman shields being thrown around owing to boredom at a soldier’s post, etc. It doesn’t take much for a brain to connect dots between phenomenon…“Hey wait a minute, passing this shield to and fro is FUN”.

People who tend to be the most creative are people with family histories of paranoia and mental illness. Extreme cases get a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia and they see and hear things that are not there…artists and musicians have often been able to tap into this phenomenon and still have enough insight into reality to realize that theses stimuli are not real,but can use the “inspiration” to basically copy down what their brain provides for them. Mental health works on a continuum, and you need multiple criteria to get a diagnosis, just because you may be creative does not mean you are ill. Just a disclaimer. Medications can help extreme cases, though so if you hear voices persistently, see your doctor…it’s not always a good thing.

So to answer the question, I would be very skeptical of the idea that we are tapping in to “God” or some kind of pre-existing energy source. It’s possible, but the evidence is much more strong for the theory above.

To summarize, creativity comes from the assimilation and recombination of existing images and memory of various stimuli.

I think that creativity is largely a matter of practice and a matter of habit. People get random ideas all the time, but usually they’re too busy to pursue it as more than an idle fantasy. Creative people have a habit of acting on those ideas, chasing them, developing them in more detail, writing them down, filing them away for future reference. When I was a teenager I wanted to be a science fiction writer. The only drawback was that I couldn’t seem to think of any good ideas. Then in my twenties I got involved in role-playing games. For awhile there I was the game master for our little group, which meant that I was responsible for the adventure every month. Suddenly I was seeing story ideas everywhere I looked.