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The Case of the Disappearing Creativity

Updated: Oct 5, 2018

By Linda Case, Multimedia Artisan


I used to run a creative nonprofit which combined art and the natural world. So many folks would say “I used to be creative but I’m not anymore!” Saying that to me was like shaking a red flag in front of a bull. I deeply believe that everyone is creative and that actively using that creativity makes for a healthy balance in our lives. But research may back up the naysayers. In a 1968 study George Land gave a creativity test (eventually used at NASA in their hiring) and found that 98% of 5 year olds were creative. He then extended that test and look at how the success rate plummeted with age:

10 year olds: 30% 15 year olds: 12% Same test given to 280,000 adults: 2%


Luckily I didn’t know about Land’s test at that time so I couldn’t resist asking these self-described “noncreatives” if they sewed or played a musical instrument or knitted or cooked or gardened or helped their kids with school projects etc. It would take only a few questions to unearth an area of their life that was truly inventive or innovative.


Creativity while often connected to art is much broader and includes imagination, originality, artistry and vision. Look at those synonyms. Where do you fit? Maybe you doodle during long business meetings and folks always comment on those works. Or you enjoy telling stories of your childhood. The possibilities are endless.


So as James Clear writes at JamesClear.com, “Build something. Share something. Craft something. Make more art. Your health and happiness will improve and we’ll all be better off for it.” Your creativity is just waiting for you to awaken it.


P.S. Need a jolt of inspiration? Come, see and chat with artists of all stripes at the 2018 Over the Mountain Studio Tour, November 10 & 11 (www.overthemountainstudiotour.com).

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