What is the purpose of creativity?

One of the things that really troubled me, and particularly so when I first noticed this urge to start learning to draw and paint, was, what is the point of it all? I would feel this tickle of excitement, and perhaps a naughty giggle when I thought of doing just what my five year old daughter was doing. That rather fierce voice in my head would start up sternly..."What's with all the doodling? Have you forgotten you are an accountant? Shouldn't you be doing something useful... like perhaps, your actual job?  What is the purpose of this creative output?"

I have been a practical person my whole life. In fact I have been a creative person my whole life too.  I realise now, that while it might seem a little counter-intuitive, creativity and practicality, or at the very least pragmatism, are strongly related.  In Lilian Wissink's helpful book, 'The Creative Seed: How to Enrich Your Life through Creativity' she explains,

"Experts see creativity as a learnt ability to experiment time and time again and to problem solve until we get to a desired outcome. This process is practical, not mysterious."

So perhaps every creative activity is improving our imagination, willingness to explore and experiment, trust in our ability to think on our feet and find an innovative solution. In addition to this practical skill building, Lilian makes the other very valid point that we tend to be so focused on successful careers in our busy lives that we forget about, and undervalue the importance of, spending time doing something simply because it is fun.

Creativity is much discussed in both business and education worlds. One of my favourite experts on the subject is Ken Robinson, a totally engaging speaker - you can hear him speak here:  http://www.ted.com/speakers/sir_ken_robinson.html  Listening to Ken Robinson did help me get over these strange feelings of guilt or perhaps even shame at wanting to do something so apparently childish and unconventional. In fact, I now seem to be pretty well convinced that it is something most of us are missing out on. So... to the drawing board.... and beyond!

"The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls."     Pablo Picasso