19 April 2021

Creativity Makes the World Go Round

By P Michael

It used to be that love is what makes the world go round. Now it seems it is creativity that makes the world go round.

Growing up, we were told not to rock the boat; not to do anything that can be deemed as strange. In kindergarten, we were instructed to just colour within the lines, were told that roses are red and the grass is green. Yet it is this sense of wanting to do something different, to be creative and to innovate is what changes the world, or at least, changed the world in which these innovators live.

With creativity, our ancestors looked at a sharp piece of stone and thought it would make a good tool. Innovation propelled the Wright brothers to invent the first motor-operated airplane. Creativity is not only central to what it means to be human, but it is also the heart of innovation and problem-solving.

I am not creative
If you search for the definition of creativity, it always states that creativity means using your imagination to create new ideas or objects. In almost all cases, it is referenced as being artistic. While this may be true, this definition does not do justice to the actual broadness and scope of creativity.

Creativity is more than just a painting on canvas or the ability to play the piano beautifully. More than that, creativity drives us to not only create but also innovate. Creativity is human ingenuity, our innate capability to turn thoughts into things. It is creativity that has helped sustained life on this planet.

Undeniably, being creative is power. Because of its dynamism, creativity in humanity has resulted in the creation of literature, sculpture, music, geography, astronomy, mathematics and technology, to name a few. To be creative is power unimaginable. Yet there are many who are oblivious to this innate power, for one reason or another. 

Whether it is realized or not, everyone can be creative. Many people think of creativity as binary. It is either you have it, or you don’t. In reality, we all have some extent of creativity in us. It is just a matter of how we interpret it. Creativity is more than artistic impressions. If you’re working in an office or in retail, or even if you’re a professional gamer, you’re probably using creativity to make decisions and solve problems on a daily basis. 

It is not an overstatement to suggest that creativity may be one of humanity’s most important attributes. Its impact is much more profound because being creative can, in fact, help us live longer

The article shared that ‘creativity decreases mortality risk’. Why? Doing something creative such as painting or doodling uses various neural network within the brain. This in effect decreases negative emotions, reduces stress and anxiety, and improve medical outcomes. So the next time you feel like doodling, go ahead. Doodle away. 

Image via Bernd Geropp YouTube

So go and be creative because…
Creativity keeps you engaged. No, not the going-to-get-married kind but more of the health-related kind. Many health problems such as depression seem to stem from us losing our engagement with the larger world. Being creative makes us learn continuously and interact with others. Whether it is looking for a piece of data or forming social relationships with others, creativity and the process ensure your mental well-being is at its best.

Being creative helps reduce stress. Engaging in creative endeavours produces a similar effect on your brain as that of meditation. Engaging in some activity that stimulates imagination such as knitting, baking, listening to music or even creating a work process, helps you decompress. In fact, the simple act of being in the presence of creativity such as being in an art museum or watching someone create something can do wonders to your frame of mind. So have a go at knitting if that is what you’d always wanted to do.

It is upskilling. Not only is it about creating something new, but creativity also helps us develop skills we may already have. Creative processes such as finding new ways to do old tasks or creating something new help build our problem-solving skills, which in turn increases our confidence level. Being creative help us be more open-minded and patient with others, be more accepting of alternative ideas as we look into issues with greater depth while also preparing us for new challenges. 

Benefits of Creativity Infographic by Sylvia Duckworth

Bring on the creativity!
Contrary to popular belief, we all have a creative streak. It may not be by being artfully creative but we all possess the ability to create, to make something new and valuable. I may be presumptuous when writing this but I’m sure everyone wants to develop new skills or cultivate their abilities. Who won’t want to be better at solving mathematical problems or be the best at playing Genshin Impact?

But why should creativity be the skill you spend time developing when there are so many other ‘talents’ to improve? Because it is a time-worthy investment especially if you care about your future career. In this time and age, businesses have put high values on creative qualities.

According to training.com, those in the creative industry in Australia earns 24% more than those in other industries do. Creativity is also the number one trait needed for business success, especially when the market is dependent on innovative technology.

So what that means is that your future boss and your future boss’ boss will put creativity in the upper rung of important skills must-haves when they intend to hire. And that totally makes perfect sense because, by definition, a creative person is someone who comes up with good ideas and is capable of bringing those ideas to fruition. Creativity is vital in human development. So go ahead and start churning out ideas from now.

Did you know
We produce creators and innovators
Our students are constantly among the finalist in competitions that demands creativity and innovation such as the Online Innovate Malaysia Design Conference and the Global Innovation Challenge.

We’re the first Adobe Creative Campus in Malaysia
Being the first university in Australia to achieve the Adobe Creative Campus status, our students have full access to Adobe Creative Cloud, the world’s best application for graphic design, video editing, web development, and photography.

We have innovation in our bloodline
Swinburne’s vision is to create social and economic impact through science, technology and innovation. The university aims to achieve this by transforming education through strong industry engagement, social inclusion, the desire to innovate and the determination to create a positive change.


This article was written to commemorate World Creativity and Innovation Day, on 21 April, a day that aims to raise awareness of the role of creativity and innovation in all aspects of human development.

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