Creativity And Rebellion

(This column is posted at and Steve’s Tumblr)

A simple work of fiction with a different hero or heroine can inspire legions of people to realize they can change the world.  A few dull economic statistics, presented in a new format, can reveal powerful truths and shake a business’. An eloquent speech creates an uprising that brings down a dictator. Creativity breaks us out of traps of ruts and changes the world; Creativity is rebellion.

All creativity is rebellion.  Creativity challenges and makes things anew – it is different, if only minutely, from what is known, a rebellion against what is.  Because creativity is change from the known, that is why it has such an impact.  It’s why we are enthralled by some new thing; creativity lets you see the world differently, experience possibilities that are new, think that which you never thought.

Every creative act is a bit of rebellion – perhaps a friendly one – but a rebellion nonetheless.  The power of creativity is not just in its differences, however, but because creativity is about connection.

Creativity is connection.  Even if it shocks or is unexpected, creativity relies on known ideas for context and meaning, much as a book relies on known words, or a tale shocks as it is different than familiar ones.  Creativity is a change grounded in known reality, with other concepts and ideas as signposts and guides to its meaning.

This is why Creativity shocks and delights – it is new yet is relatable.  The newness becomes part of the familiar.

Creativity builds new connections.  The creative is the idea seen in a new light, the religion reformed, a mirror-image of an old story.  It is accessible, but because it lets one see things differently, it creates whole new ways to understand the world.  New connections between ideas, new associations among people, new feelings occur when we’re exposed to the creative.

Creativity draws people deeper into the world with what it shows us. These new connections can make a new, creative idea even more true than past truths.  Because it connects to the known, yet looks at things differently, it creates a powerful web of understanding.  Truth is based on how ideas align together, and a creative thought or work can align powerfully, moreso than old, worn-out, smaller truths.

Creativity lasts. Because it is so connected yet new, creativity creates powerful changes, and these changes echo throughout time. The most powerful creative acts start with the known, introduce the new, and provide seed and soil for even greater connections and associations.

A rebel is a truly creative person, and rightly feared as the dictator and despot never know what they may do or where they’re coming from.  For all they know, the creative person has planted seeds unseen, maybe in the heads of those that hate them and would control them.  For all they know people are thinking in new ways, ways they can’t control.

To keep creating is to keep rebelling.

– Steve