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  • Claudia Sauter-Steiger

What Type of Creative are You?

Generally when we think of creativity, we think of arts and crafts, design, music and sometimes radical ideas. When you are asked to name a creative person, most people will choose those that are extremely gifted in their area of expertise. And most likely an artist of some kind.

But are all types of creativity the same? Is there a significant difference between pragmatic creativity – problem solving, logical reasoning, thinking – and artistic creativity – painting, designing, choreography? Am I just one or the other?

Pragmatic or problem-solving creative thinking is the type of creativity that nearly everyone uses on a daily basis. Even though it's mostly based on reasoning, pragmatic creativity is still creative because it involves developing new ideas, which is what creativity is all about. It is the act of thinking through relationships and day-to-day problems in novel ways. It is very goal-oriented and logical.

Artistic creativity, on the other hand, is a bit more radical. At its core it is still about coming up with new ideas, but it’s more free-flowing, less encumbered, and very focused on solving a problem of expression or impression. Artistic creativity is what is needed to bring a truly unique perspective.

When you look at children playing, you will often see them displaying both types of creativity at different gift levels. The good news therefore is that we all have access to both types of creativity.

Now, knowing the difference and that you have both, the question is: “How can I incorporate more artistic thinking into my pragmatic problems, and vice-versa?” How can you take logical problems and pursue more artistic solutions? Whether as an individual or a team, the most powerful ideas come from utilizing both types of creative thinking.

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