In his book, A Users Guide to the Creative Mind, Dave Birss writes about how to be creative, and he addresses what we consider creative ideas. He uses a quote from the Bible, “There is nothing new under the sun” to help explain his idea of what creativity is. Birss continues and writes, “It’s better to think of a creative idea as a recombination of existing elements,” which strengthens the platform he establishes with his quote from the Bible.
What Birss is saying is that we have popular misconceptions of creativity and creative people. In some ways we believe that creative people are of a different breed, or have different skills and mental abilities than most people. We imagine brilliant and creative people as having the ability to think of novel ideas to create and design things that have never before been thought of.
Birss is stating that creativity and the creative process is not built upon a foundation of innovative ideas that are new to humanity. Instead, he writes that our minds are not generating anything new, but simply finding new ways of combining ideas.
I enjoy thinking about creativity in this way because it allows me to be creative and not feel pressured into having novel ideas for applying my creativity. His view on creativity is distinctly human since we all have different viewpoints, backgrounds, and interest, and our diversity in these areas can help us be creative by expressing our unique perspectives.