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pentacular profile image

Hmm, the evidence doesn't support that conclusion as far as I am aware.

There aren't many studies that I am aware of for creativity, but George Land's paper strongly indicates that rather than learning creativity, we instead learn non-creativity.

Which means that we can work toward unlearning non-creativity.

Here's an article that might give more background.

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fischgeek profile image
fischgeek Author

The article seems to be aimed at parents with kids at home and their creative play. While I don't disagree with this (being a parent myself) there is a clear distinction between someone who practices and works really hard at learning a new skill and then there are those that have a natural, God-given talent for creativity.

My brother-in-law is an amazing painter. He didn't learn how, he doesn't follow a template or a Bob Ross video, he just does. It's in his head and out on canvas (or in some cases old windows).

I have never been able to draw or do anything creative without a very very clear picture and step by step instructions on how to get there. I just don't have a creative bone in my body.

I will read through the whole article today though. It does seem interesting. Are you a creative person?

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pentacular profile image

I don't believe in innate talent, myself -- and science seems to back this up.

What I do believe in is directed and effective practice.

Every 'naturally talented' person I've met has always invested a great deal of time and energy into developing their talents.

The main difference that I see is a deep drive to develop those skills.

And with that kind of motivation, these people often don't notice that they're practicing something for hours a day, or they consider it a kind of effortless play, which leads others to discount the effort that has gone into that development, and consider it a magical gift that they shouldn't even attempt to develop.

That said, there do seem to be 'neural architectures' that can be inherited which make doing some things easier -- spatial ability, for example -- but all the spatial ability in the world won't get you far on its own.

Spatial ability won't turn you into an amazing painter -- what will is putting the energy and time into learning how to see the world in a certain fashion, and how to realize it in a certain way.

I remember when I was younger, I developed an interest in drawing, so I ended up spending two or three hours a day doing that.

One day as I was walking down the street something in my brain just clicked, and I saw the world in a different way.

I didn't go on to develop that talent as I had other things to do, but I have no doubt that were I to put in the time and energy that I would have become a competent artist, and able to draw and paint without the appearance of significant effort.

This is not to say that you should learn how to do UX, but rather I'd like to suggest that a notion of fixed talent may be holding you back from developing yourself.

People are fluid, and practice is effective in producing change.

I'd also ask your brother-in-law how much time and effort he put into developing his artistic ability -- the answer may surprise you.