“The Origins of Creativity”

Originally posted in our April 2023 Top of Mind Newsletter.

What does it mean to be creative? Why do we need creativity in our lives? Samuel W. Franklin suggests in his new book, The Cult of Creativity, that creativity is a relatively recent idea. Sure, we’ve been creating things since before we were human, but Franklin posits that creativity as a characteristic to be measured and considered has only been around since the 1940s. This was primarily due to businesses looking for an edge in an economy that was quickly shifting from production to service and from the rise of consumerism. Creativity was seen as a means of improving products, selling them better, and increasing productivity.

“As the psychologist and popular author Rollo May put it, creativity is not an aberrant quality, or something associated with psychic unrest—the tormented-artist type. On the contrary, creativity is ‘the expression of normal people in the act of actualizing themselves.’”

So the question is, how much of today’s creativity is innate? 

Read more from this fascinating New Yorker article at the link below.

Get Creative