Surprisingly when I ask that question of students in my introductory creative class only about half the class raises their hands. They’re often taking Fundamentals of Creative Development because it’s required for all advertising majors, not just those interested in becoming a writer, art director, or designer. If I have one goal it’s to convince everyone in the class that he or she is creative. We’re all creative. Everyone is creative.
Sadly, most of our public schools, in their misguided efforts to prepare students for standardized test taking, destroy kids’ natural creativity. Studies have even shown that creativity drops precipitously as early as first grade when you’re told that a house has four sides, a door in the middle and a triangular roof, contradicting that amazing half bird house, half ant hill you’d been drawing. Conformity is not a friend of creativity.
There’s also some confusion about what it means to be creative. So it might help to distinguish between being artistic and being creative. Not everyone is artistic. That requires both imagination and the skill to draw, paint, sculpt, or compose music. Creativity simply asks that we use our imagination to solve problems. You don’t have to draw to do that.