Thomas Moore said, "We are all poets and artists as we live our daily lives, whether or not we recognize our role and whether or not we believe it." Human beings have an innate need to create. But in what sense of ‘creative’, for instance, would it be true to say, as Lytton does, that ‘we cannot… deny the epithet “creative” to the five-year-old child who produces a picture of square cows and peopled with round-bellied neckless mums and dads’. Surely the sense of ‘creative’ as used here bears little relation to its use in the suggestion that Shakespeare can be picked out as a creative playwright or Einstein as a creative scientist.
We are not concerned, presumably, with the use of the term ‘creative’ in a neutral descriptive way as equivalent to ‘productive’ where nothing is implied about the quality of what is produced or the conditions under which it is produced or the characteristics of the individual who produces. A mother might refer to her child as creative simply because he is continually making things such as model aeroplanes, buildings of toy bricks and meccano models. If pressed on the point as why she calls this kind of activity creative, she might reply, simply enough , that to create something is to make or produce it – to create a fuss is to make a fuss, to create the world is to produce the world – and that therefore, since her son is creating things, he is obviously creative.
Clearly the mere business of making something, without any reference to what is made or produced, how is it made and why it is made, is not necessarily valuable. Similarly, the person involved in the process of “creating” is equally important. The normative sense of ‘creative person’ must therefore have certain characteristics written into it, besides the mere condition of producing. What are these further characteristics?
Donald MacKinnon's research says: Highly creative people are more disturbed, more discontented, more anxious- yet healthier than the average person....