There are many explanations. Creativity is a mark of intelligence. It drives innovation. It is great for stress relief, health, and therapy. It is a tool for communication and expression. Keeps your brain in shape. Helps with problem-solving. To me, these answers are important but not full. There are other ways to have an agile brain and boost your mood. And yet, I know creativity is integral to my being, as it is for many others.
A few weeks ago, a 55 year-old Indian man (an engineer raised with an upbringing similar to mine in that it emphasized numerical scores, math, and science) asked me what the point of any art was. He seemed almost disgusted with the frivolity of artmaking, referring to it as a waste of time and even including yoga philosophy in his argument that art was simply a distraction from understanding our true selves as manifestations of a life force. That we should be looking inward, not outward. The fact that art can be confusing, grotesque, and impure offended him further. While I have not quite seen a reaction this extreme, many people (especially in the Asian community) harbor resentment, disregard, or indifference towards creative practices and often raise doubts about their utility.
A few weeks ago, I did not have a satisfactory response for the engineer.
I decided to seek out a more fundamental answer.
Presently, I am staying at Akashas Vedanta Ashram in Ramona, CA. After a session of yoga and meditation, a very simply answer came to me:
Creativity is important because everything is created.
By engaging in acts of creativity, we acknowledge our oneness with, and deep our understanding of a universal creative energy.
Whether you believe in a specific religion or that our entire reality is a computer simulation, the act of creation is still acknowledged. Even if you are atheistic or do not believe in reality, the series of perceptions you have are, somehow, created. In understanding and unleashing a creative energy within ourselves, we are exploring creatorship. This is a quality we share with whomever or whatever created our human experience; it is something divine.
Incarnate by Vibhu Krishna | charcoal on paper 18" x 24"